Hustle makes little use of everything Adam Sandler (Billy Madison) is leading to create a comedy-drama that is a welcome addition to his film. Sandler’s love for the NBA remains vivid in this film and – from the film’s lead to more – leagues are easily matched by most actors.
Hustle (2022): Movie Review
The film is not good, but it is real when time is needed. Hustle is part of a new era of sports movies that are not about playing the game, but the tricks around it. Director Jeremiah Zagar’s (We The Animals) touches are ideal for this type of film that would not be mistreated by a different filmmaker. Not every surprise is a lucky chance to be Unbroken Gems, and yet Ridiculous 6 did not unleash the shadows of Happy Gilmore. But in the course of his career, it is good to know that Sandler is still able to deliver solid drama.
When a major career change comes down to the Philadelphia 76ers scout, Stan Sugarman (Sandler) is forced to stop feeling sorry for himself and go out and get the next big thing. He gets that from a construction worker Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangomez) on Spanish basketball courts. Bo moves and takes money from unsuspecting footballers, but also shows Stan that he has what it takes to play in the big leagues. Stan follows the bill and secretly tries to bring Bo into the NBA draft, but he encounters an opposition country. Both Bo and Stan have to consider themselves to be the NBA figures they aspire to be.
Sandler’s amazing collection seems to grow every four or five years. At this point, the Saturday Night Live alum has at least some control over the critics of its most important work. Surprisingly, Hustle is not trying to be something that is not. The film puts its feet firmly in the NBA world and does not move. Closing credits do not have names like Queen Latifah (Set It Off) and Robert Duvall (Thunder Days) and instead include basketball players like Trae Young, who has no lines to speak in the film. Although confusing at first, the selection is actually a love letter to basketball and uses the images found to evoke an honest tribute to the game.
Hernangomez is known for being a strong NBA fan, but not just a man. This ends up working for his benefit because the audience enters without guessing anything or information that might interfere with the enjoyment of the film. Hernangomez plays Bo well despite the fact that this is his first acting gig. Credit to Zagar for putting him in a position not only to keep him away from monologues in the show but also to show that he was the right actor in the role.
The opponent of stoic Hernangomez is Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards, who has made it clear he is a player who can dip his teeth in the word game. Edward plays his opponent and, in the scenes where he talks rubbish with Bo on stage, becomes the most involved actor in the entire film.
Hustle brings together NBA fans and Sandler fans, especially those who enjoy Sandler’s heavy-duty rides; they all have something to enjoy in this film. The actor has always been believed as the man of the family. But balance is achieved when he does it diligently and the family is not at the forefront of the text. It allows viewers to enjoy that part of him without having to waste his time on the world. In the end, Hernangomez’s relationship with his wife and daughter is finally strained. Maria Botto (Good Manners), in particular, shines like a funny but loving mother.
The main knock-on Hustle training is long enough for two songs to play together. The training montage is fundamental to the type of sports movie and Hustle has its heart in the right place. But montages are often where script writing, directing, and editing sometimes all contradict each other. The montage is focused on Bo climbing the mountain in less than two minutes. The first episode is his motto for the audience as well. The second part works much better. In small ways, the film makes the same mistake again. Whether it’s basketball kids or just Sandler on the go, the entire film season is at least two long and sets aside the most exciting moments that fit that moment.
Supporting roles from Ben Foster (Hell or High Water) – unusually reserved but still stubborn as usual – and Heidi Gardner (SNL) occasionally throw a wrench at Hustle. Trying to break a long consecutive montage record does not help, either, but it does not matter. Hustle succeeds in becoming the film it stands to be: A glimpse of what it takes to get in, and stay, in the highly competitive NBA.
Related – Where Was Hustle Movie Filmed?