Hustlers 2019 Trailer | In Theaters September 2019

Hustlers 2019 Trailer | In Theaters September 2019

Jennifer Lopez and writer-director Lorene Scafaria own Hustlers. Lopez gets an iconic character entrance, doing pole gymnastics to Fiona Apple, bathing in money, following her striptease with a cigarette on top of the roof of the strip club lounging back in her fur coat, and then offering her fur coat for warmth to the new girl (Constance Wu) like a mama bear.

Close to that height, there's a cameo by Usher playing Usher in that time he went to Scores' with his entourage and got all the strippers out on the stage to rain money to "I Want to Make Love (In This Club)".

But Hustlers is all fun and games until 2008 crashed Wall Street and the money dried up and the strippers turned into Russian tricks. And this is where Hustlersgets really interesting, less in the plot points, but in Scafaria's directorial flexes.

When Lopez, Wu, and other former strippers (Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer) form a pack of "sisters" who drug high rollers to take them to the club to max out their credit card and with a cash in at the club, Scafaria puts the camera following the first victim at the man's feet that they're willfully dragging him into the champagne room as he's unable to stand.

She recreates multiple bar meet-ups with a repeated boss walk entrance that could sell 1,000 scents of perfume.

And she does glorious things with sound, whether it's dropping out all sound when Wu hits stop and Julia Stiles' reporter's recorder, or when you here the muffled mic during a sting like you're in the van but not watching from the van but in the same place as the characters.

And the soundtrack, my god,the soundtrack perfectly encapsulates each different year that the true story tracks.

From specific 2007 needle drops to 2014's Royals by Lorde, Scafaria charts the economic collapse into the current state of disillusion by inequality that widened since the bailout. Oh! And Chopin! Scafaria uses Chopin during a pole training session to highlight the beauty and grace of the moves.

Hustlers is tight and machine-like, a major step forward for Scafaria. It's more Scorese-like than Magic Mike and better because of it.

I'm a big champion of XXL, but Hustlers ain't a party, it's about class and chiefly Wall Street extravagance that knocked the world back and suffered no consequences.

And yeah, this is a crime story, so even though it has its fun moments, it's the shift to grit that elevates the movie. It's closer to Scorsese than you're expecting.

And speaking of Scorsese, that fur coat? Best use of a fur coat since Sharon Stone in Casino. Hell, maybe better. "Come into my fur" and Wu is enveloped by Lopez just like the rest of the movie. (REVIEWS: letterboxd)

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