Buddy comedies are fun, and sometimes turn out to be the movies that become the cultural icons of the generation. Often a bunch of one liners and aggressive comedy that becomes meme worthy and quotable, these movies vary across the spectrum in terms of quality. Nevertheless, these movies do have a place in the mainstream as those fun films that entertain people. So will it achieve its goal and be entertaining, or so aggressively silly that it robs you of your money? That’s where I come in for a little movie review to give my opinions and maybe help guide your viewing pleasures. Let us take a look at:
Movie: The Hustle (2019)
Alex Sharp’s Character
Attempt At A Story
Short Run Time
A buddy comedy requires good chemistry for the actors to utilize, being able to play off one another and maximize the relationship between the characters. Fortunately Rebel and Anne have achieved this dynamic, establishing the dynamic that the trailers suggested which helps maximize the delivery of the plethora of jokes to come. They looked to have had fun and that I believe sells the dynamic between the two. Once Alex Sharp’s character came in, his characteristics and direction fit well into the movie, but also helped curb some of the extreme qualities that the movie had the leading ladies pursuing. His delivery and innocence his character contained, made for a character to grab onto by those not a fan of the two leads, and can help get through the tale at hand.
Speaking of that, The Hustle’s story from the trailers looks to be a very thread thin, shallow plot about taking advantage of condescending men. Instead, there were some attempts to mix it up a bit and progress it towards new directions that put our characters into uncomfortable zones. A few twists were nicely added, and the push past that simplistic story gets applause in my book. But if the story is not up your alley then two things will grant you some berth in the storm of things this movie holds. First, it’s a short run time, so you won’t have too long to fend off against the onslaught of jokes and stupidity that is crammed into the film. Your second saving grace is some of the humor actually hits home as well, perfectly timed or expertly delivered to maximize the laughs. Much of this had to do with the comedy that was not too forced, but there are some subtle nods at humor that my dorky humor appreciates. As an added bonus, there are some fun musical tracks that get into the spirit of the scenes and add some edge to the movie or at least make you dance in your seat.
Victim of Trailers
Too Aggressive/Forceful for Humor
Despite some of the good this movie did for me, there were some shortcomings that did not quite work for me as they may for other audiences. It starts with the predictability of the tale, primarily in how hard the foreshadowing and attempt to surprise you came. These twists would have probably been successfully executed had there not been such a blatant attempt to misdirect in dialogue and drowning plot elements with the cantankerous humor. In addition, the fact that the trailers revealed so much did not help with hiding the surprises nor keeping the comedy fresh.
In addition to giving away much of the surprise, the movie also failed to deliver the story to me that I was hoping to get out of it. For once, it might have been nice to actually do a mockery of the Ocean’s movies by making it all about conning corrupt villains and a central rival to their game. Sadly, their attempts to diverge from this story came out as pale attempts that did not gain the momentum needed to have the impact they needed. Secondly, it’s always good for me to have some characters with a little more depth, then what I got here. The Hustle’s protagonists have very little in terms of story, characteristics, or qualities outside of what you got from the trailer. I get this is probably some symbolic presentation of con artists, but perhaps more into how they came into the lifestyle, and the driving force could have granted these talented actresses some better roles to bring to life. Perhaps this is why I like Alex Sharp’s character, because there is at least some attempts to bring his character some added layers, instead of just a comedic punching bag.
Still those components are not quite the force that took the most away from me in this movie. The first is too political a statement for this film. The writers and direction got a little too femme fatale and preachy for me, with much of the dialog driven down a road that takes away the fun for me. I think it will hit the right audience members, but from a general standpoint some of the aggressive sexism jokes did not quite impress me. Second, the humor is a little too slapstick and force for my tastes. The trailer made some of these jokes stale, but there were times where overacting and pushing that joke over the line or on me just did not set well. As such, I didn’t laugh as hard as I had hoped from the trailers and was a bit bored with some of the designed sequences. Again, this comedy will hit its niche audience, but for guys like me, it’s not going to be the most clever or unique jokes that present themselves.
If you are expecting the next masterpiece of comedy in this film, you will be disappointed with The Hustle. Yet, if you go in there ready for simplistic comedy, filled with one liners and focused audience and you have got yourself the flick of the weekend. It’s got some good points and great chemistry, jamming it’s all its gimmicks into a short run time to entertain very quickly. However, if you are looking for something like Bridesmaids with heart, cleverness, and entertainment, then reserve this one for a home viewing in my opinion. My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.0