TIFF review: Hustlers

Real-life crime caper about exotic dancers fleecing Wall Street types is fun but shallow

HUSTLERS GALA D: Lorene Scafaria. U.S. 110 min. Sep 8, 6 pm, Ryerson. Rating: NNN

Hustlers is a Goodfellas-style caper, but here, the fellas are easy marks and the women make the money moves.

The satisfaction is undeniable. Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star as exotic dancers who graduate to grand larceny, fleecing tens of thousands by the hour from unsuspecting Wall Street types, using a cocktail of seduction and ketamine.

Scafaria’s movie romanticizes the crime, based on a real enterprise, with good reason. The victims are from Wall Street. As far as everyone is concerned, they perpetrated the recession. The hustle is all about taking back what those douchebags stole, and then pouring it into new bags from Louis Vuitton.

Hustlers keeps things fun, in a conventional crime movie way, but it also doesn’t dig very deep with its characters and their relationships. What begins with a beautiful moment where Lopez’s Ramona brings Wu’s Destiny under her wing, which is actually a giant fur coat, descends into hugs and parties and other displays of female camaraderie that look nice but can feel phony.

The film is far more satisfied with the mechanics of the crime, keeping up a comic and celebratory vibe as steamroll over men and go shopping for Louboutins. 

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