• 18 Jun - 24 Jun, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly

Hustle is the latest in Adam Sandler’s longstanding Netflix deal, which at last coughs up something that isn’t a slapdash comedy. Hustle hits us early on with a travel montage: Stanley Sugerman (Sandler) in airports and hotels and gyms and arenas, scoping out basketball players and subsisting on fast food. He sloughs around like he’s been doing this forever, which is pretty much true. He’s a one-time player with big scars on his hand, which may explain why he’s not playing anymore and working as a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers. He crosses off one dud after another on his list, and the best guy is only a maybe. He powwows with the Merrick family ownership brass, including owner Rex (Robert Duvall), son Vince (Ben Foster) and daughter Kat (Heidi Gardner). Stanley butts’ heads with Vince, who wants to draft the maybe-player against Stanley’s advice. The old man ultimately sides with Stanley. Rex promotes Stanley to assistant coach and hugs him and Stanley goes home to his wife Teresa (Queen Latifah) and daughter Alex (Jordan Hull) and they celebrate because he’s finally achieved his dream of getting a spot at the end of the bench. And then Rex dies. Months later. The player Vince wanted to draft but Stanley didn’t? Vince is an arrogant prick, and in these situations, arrogant pricks don’t admit their mistakes, and instead demote Stanley back to scout. Hustle is your typical sports underdog movie giving us pumped-up montages. It’s enjoyably formulaic, and hinges wholly on Sandler.