Hustle, the inspiring sports drama feature film, released last month, starring Adam Sandler in the lead as Stanley Sugerman, an NBA scout for the 76ers, who finds undiscovered raw talent in Spain. The film with the tagline ‘Never quit on your dreams’ is easily engaging and entertaining to watch.

The film also stars Queen Latifah as Sugerman’s wife, Teresa Sugarman, Kenny Smith as his friend and sports agent, Leon Rich, Ben Foster plays his new boss and co-owner of the 76ers, Vince Merrick, while Joseph Cartagena known by his stage name ‘Fat Joe,’ plays himself. Juancho Hernangomez stars as the newly recruited basketball player from Spain, Bo Cruz, and Anthony Edwards the current Minnesota Timberwolves player, plays Kermit Wilts, Cruz’s rival antagonist basketball player.

The story follows Sugerman, who works tirelessly as a basketball scout, with the aim of one day becoming a coach, but when he finally feels like he has his dream job, his boss passes away before his promotion becomes official. Sugerman who is down on his luck, feels like his dream is further way, and is stuck having to continue his job as a scout, with his new boss Merrick. Things take a sudden turn when he discovers Bo Cruz, a young and talented basketball player, with raw talent, who Hustles with his skills. This is when the core plot unfolds, with Stanley taking a leap of faith, invites Cruz back to the States, without the approval of his new boss.

The way Sugerman takes it upon himself to train and draft his prodigy, makes the film feel like a journey that the viewers get to take with Sugerman and Cruz, as they push their limits, to be ready for the NBA draft. Hustle which features an ensemble cast of both present and past basketball icons, is a treat to watch for NBA fans, with scenes on and off the court, naturally displaying their icons for all to watch.

Set in the world of NBA, the film carefully tells a story about an NBA scout who is chasing his own goal of becoming a 76er’s coaching staff but after a turn of events, tries to shape the life of his prodigy with extraordinary skills, which becomes a risk that could cost him his career.

The film about challenging work and dedication, with a training montage, goes head-to-head against the world’s best in the game. The story telling style feels well grounded, as they face challenges, portrayed with clear insight that show viewers how athletes need to endure setbacks, as they try to get into a team and wear their jersey.

The script from LeBron’s company features a feel-good sports drama that has heart, delivered by Sandler, who has reshaped how he is seen by fans, by recreating himself on screen, as a multi skilled actor who is a natural in the more mature coaching role.

The film’s title has been easily confused with The Hustle (2019), which is crime-comedy that stars Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway, and Hustlers (2019), which is crime-drama film which stars Jennifer Lopez, both of which have no similarity or association with Hustle.

The 117-minute film by director Jeremiah Zagar, was made together with producers LeBron James, Joe Roth, Zack Roth, Joseph Vecsey, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Allen Covert, Maverick Carter, and the lead himself Adam Sandler, working in collaboration with production companies Happy Madison Productions, Roth Films, SpringHill Company, and Roth Kirschenbaum Films. Hustle was distributed through online streaming on Netflix in selected countries on 8 June. The film has received critical acclaim, backed by high ratings, with 93 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 68 per cent Metacritic and 7.4/10 on IMDb, with Adam Sandler receiving praise for his performance.

The one-of-a-kind film sets itself apart from other films in the genre, with a cast of stars who worked well together, to provide viewers with an engaging story, supported by seamless delivery, which was well deserving of its high praise and rating, which make it a movie that is clearly worth watching.

By Nirupa Mohan Dore