"Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right"
What You Need To Know:
HUSTLERS is well produced. There’s some humor and the fact that it’s based on real events is interesting, but the amount of immorality is overwhelming. Because of their success at deceiving rich men, the women’s lifestyle is practically glorified, with the characters buying expensive clothes and cars. HUSTLERS also has frequent nudity, constant substance abuse, and lots of foul language. It’s an abhorrent movie with no redeeming qualities.
Based on a true story, HUSTLERS takes place in New York City following the lives of women who work in a strip club.
Destiny is an Asian-American woman who has just begun this line of work, and she’s not really doing so well. She feels awkward and unable to do the things the other girls do. One night, the emcee welcomes Ramona to the stage. Ramona has been in the business for a while and it clearly shows. She dances around on the stage, working all the men who watch her, and walks away with more cash than she can carry. Destiny is immediately drawn to Ramona, following her outside to the rooftop for a cigarette. They begin to quickly bond, and Ramona offers to give Destiny some tips on how to do better at this job.
Pretty soon, Destiny and Ramona work together seamlessly, raking in thousands of dollars. Destiny is finally feeling comfortable and independent, being able to help her grandmother pay off her debts and rent. However, they never predicted the economic crash of 2008. Because many of their regular clients are Wall Street guys, their clientele begins to dwindle away, causing the club to slow down tremendously. Around this same time, Destiny also finds out she’s pregnant, giving her many reasons to fear the future.
After she and her boyfriend break up, Destiny starts to scramble. She calls some of the men who previously had paid for her life while she was at the club, but it leads nowhere. At the end of her rope, she returns to the strip club, finding that the new girls have taken on new strategies to earn extra cash. Soon after returning, she runs into her old friend Ramona. They share in the struggle, as she finds out that Ramona has been working in retail making minimum wage since the crash. Ramona suggests they “go fishing” and reel in new clientele for the club. They recruit a few other cute dancers, and place themselves in high end bars and restaurants, searching for wealthy looking men, especially those with wedding rings. This plan works for a while, earning a commission on the money that these men spend at the strip club, until Destiny and Ramona see that other women have adopted the same strategy.
Ramona decides they need to take their business in house and begin to take men to homes and hotels. Soon after that, she finds that a mixture of MDMA and Ketamine can help these men feel good, but also not remember what happened the night before. This way, they can slip this mixture into their drinks and charge their personal and business credit cards to the max, and the men just believe that they were having a good time, tipping and buying drinks all night. Destiny begins to have second thoughts about this, but now they’re in too deep. However, this type of business can’t go on too long, and when they loop in a new person, everything begins to crumble before them.
HUSTLERS is based on true events originally written about by a female journalist for the New York Times. Men were making the newspaper in New York for spending upwards of $100,000 at a strip club. The women who were doing these things felt their actions were justifiable because of the men who they were swindling and blackmailing. They viewed these men as thieves, and so the money that they were taking was already stolen.
HUSTLERS is well produced and talented stars like Jennifer Lopez and successful newcomer Constance Wu. Also, with names like comedian Will Ferrell and comedy director Adam McKay attached, the humor hits really well and the story is told in a way that’s entertaining.
However, the amount of questionable, immoral content in the movie is astronomical. Also, of course, the subject matter of the movie is completely immoral. The girls make their living from dancing around wealthy men, sometimes topless, and sometimes performing sexual acts for money. There is a high amount of nudity and sexual implications, as well as lots of strong foul language. The drug use is sometimes consensual, and sometimes done without the person’s knowledge, and there is rarely a scene without alcohol. Although it’s done to tell the story, the amount of immoral content depicted is disgusting. Also, everyone in the movie (including the female journalist writing about the situation) thinks the women’s actions were justifiable because of the type of men they were drugging, stealing from and blackmailing. So, the movie’s viewpoint is as abhorrent as the behavior it depicts.