Hustle, a movie which recently premiered on Netflix, follows travel-weary Philadelphia 76ers basketball scout Stanley Sugarman (Adam Sandler) who has coaching aspirations. Sugarman thinks he’s found the next big NBA star in Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangómez), an unknown streetball phenom from Spain. Bo Cruz. But when his boss is unconvinced, Stanley brings Bo to Philly anyway and the duo hatch a plan to prove the doubters wrong, both on the court and off.
In Hustle, the comedic moments work very well even though they are few and far between, especially for a movie pegged on being a comedy. We got some classic workout montages and some great basketball sequences but not as much comedy.
The flick is filled with young NBA stars and cameos (oh how I enjoyed watching those). The best part of this movie is that it gives fans a look into the hard work that the young men put into making it in a league of 400. Fans take it for granted what it takes to give them 82 exciting games a year plus the playoffs. For every star we see in the making like the LeBron’s, Karl Anthony Townes, and Paulo Bancheros, there is a little known guy that is working his butt off just for a chance to be seen.
That determination is what the movie embodies – the spirit of the little guy giving it all he has for his family back home whether local or foreign. On top of that, the movie gives a look at the struggle of those people who are overlooked that make the games work: the scouts, trainers, assistant coaches, and the other cogs behind the scenes. It is typical to get a movie from the head coach’s perspective but we don’t usually get the same for scouts and prospective assistant coaches. Sandler and crew do a really good job portraying this struggle.
Basketball scenes are so entertaining to watch, fast-paced with megafast montages and flashy editing. Obviously Adam Sandler stands the most, although Juancho Hernangómez and Anthony Edwards also impressed me. It’s sort of rare nowadays that you find a new actor who is great in a main role and Juancho Hernangómez did exactly that. He was amazing.
Long story short, sports fans, particularly NBA fans will love this movie. I am more into football than Basketball but even I enjoyed every bit of this one. Plus, there’s Adam Sandler playing a basketball role that we just know he loves. A compelling story meets fun-loving-sports Rudy-esque story will always give you a big box of popcorn.