‘Hustle‘ is a Netflix sports drama directed by Jeremiah Zagar with Happy Madison Productions handling the production. The story comes from a screenplay written by Taylor Materne and Will Fetters with several NBA players having cameos.
Stanley Sugarman (Adam Sandler) is a talent for the NBA team Philadelphia 76ers. He is on staff with the owner Rex Merrick (Robert Duvall) who promotes him to assistant coach. Stanley’s wife Teresa (Queen Latifah) and daughter Alex (Jordan Hull) are happy to have him more. However, Rex passes away, leaving the team to his son Vince (Ben Foster) who takes over the day-to-day, and his daughter Kat (Heidi Gardner). Vince immediately sends Stanley out to scout again and he picks up Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangómez) in Spain after seeing him hustling players on the street. Despite being told not to, he brings him to America and tries to get the 76ers to recruit him, but Bo’s try-out goes awry. As a result, Stanley quits and decides to train Bo for an NBA Draft Combine. When his friends ditch him after an aggravated assault charge is revealed in Bo’s past, Stanley must use all of his wits to help Bo get a shot at playing professionally.
These days, it is hard to tell a movie by its trailer. Any decent editing software can make a movie seem like a masterpiece. So when I saw the impressive trailer for this film, I went into this sports drama very cautiously. I can honestly say, it exceeded my expectations.
Adam Sandler is excellent in the film. While he usually goes for comedic roles, he has been testing the waters with more serious roles and while there are some funny moments in the movie, he mostly plays it straight and deliver on every level.
The same could be said of the rest of the cast. Professional athletes do not always transition into Hollywood that well, even in sports films, but every athlete delivered.
I also thought that Queen Latifah was good as Teresa. She definitely nailed her role and I thought she was impressive. That goes for Hernangómez as well. I felt he showed his emotions, frustrations, and skill to the film, enduring himself to the audience.
As for the story, I was hooked. It was a good ol’ fashion underdog story and I will admit that I am a sucker for those. This one was no different. I cheered, I clapped, and I found myself completely emerged into the plot. You become completely invested in the stories of Stanley and Bo as their journey takes you on expected twists and turns.
Bottom line, Hustle not only proves Adam Sandler’s acting chops but also delivers a slam dunk of an underdog story. It is one you will not want to miss.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: There’s a thousand other guys waiting in the wings who are obsessed with this game. Obsession is going to beat talent every time. You got all the talent in the world, but are you obsessed?
Check out the trailer below:
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