Many critics agreed that this is the best film of Adam Sandler’s career. Director Jeremiah Zagar’s Hustle, which premiered on the streaming platform Netflix on June 3, has a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film particularly pleased basketball fans, and we can safely say that it also surpassed Space Jam with Michael Jordan or the sequel this year with LeBron James.
The main characters of the film are basketball player Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangómez) and talent scout Stanley Sugerman (Adam Sandler).
Link to Rocky
How else can a movie about the NBA start with a funny scene with Boban Marjanovic? This is not the first movie experience for the Serbian favorite of the competition – for example, he appeared in the movie John Wick 3. This preview already shows that the movie was shot by a person who really understands the world of basketball.
This is evident from the casting of the main character of the scout and coach Stanley Sugerman, played by Adam Sandler. Along with Queen Latifah, who played his wife, he is a well-known basketball fan.
Stanley has been a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers for years. While he has a good eye for spotting talent, he would like to spend more time with his family and work as one of the team’s coaches. Thanks to team owner Rex Merrick (Robert Duvall), this desire will come true for him – but the joy is short-lived.
After Merrick dies, his son Vince (Ben Foster) takes over, who hates Stanley and immediately orders him to find him a new player. In addition, Vince cannot accept that German player Haas (Moritz Wagner), who was not recommended by Stanley but was included in the team, is underperforming.
So Stanley is forced to get back on the plane and look for a new star. He soon finds her – on a nondescript court in Spain, where streetball is played for money. Bo Cruz is an ordinary worker who earns extra money by occasionally having street fights. He is played by Juancho Hernangómez, an NBA player who is hardly a star. However, this is also one of the reasons why it is a great casting for the main character.
Hernangómez mastered his role as a unit. In addition, the fact that the creators have chosen a European is to be commended – they are the ones currently dominating the American competition in a big way. In addition, Spain is home to one of the best basketball leagues in the world.
After Stanley manages to get Bo to America, we look at scenes typical of any sports movie. Atypical forms of training, motivational music, initial setbacks and finally overcoming all limits. The creators were well aware of this priority, which is why they included an undisguised reference to Rocky. It just belongs to this genre.
A basketball fan’s dream
The film is about social issues, competition and owners of sports clubs with no experience who want to arrange everything. The NBA is typical of many stories of players from poor families who, thanks to hard work and a little luck, managed to make their way among the best basketball players in the world. Even Bo from the start is just a simple kid who is lost in the big world of the big American city.
Even those who don’t know much about basketball will enjoy the movie, but it will be most appreciated by avid NBA fans. It is literally teeming with legends from across the league – current players like Kyle Lowry, Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Jordan Clarkson, Aaron Gordon or even Juancho Hernangómez’s brother, Willy, who currently plays for the New Orleans pelican.
In addition to young talents, the film also features retired legends such as Julius Erwing known as Dr J, Allen Iverson and Dirk Nowitzky. Young star Anthony Edwards plays Bo’s rival Kermit Wilts, who is extremely confident – a quality Edwards possesses in real life. When asked recently about his top 5 greatest players in history, he included himself alongside Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Shaquille O’Neal.
Commentators Mark Jackson, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neale and coaches Doc Rivers and Brad Stevens also appear in the film. It’s just every basketball fan’s dream.
Hustle is a photo that shows the basketball world as it is. From her casting, but also from the choice of subjects, it appears that the director is perfectly familiar with this area.
Adam Sandler played a truly admirable part in the lead role, mixing instant humor with just the right amount of emotion and depth. If you are a fan of the NBA the movie is a must for you, if not you will definitely become one after you watch it.