On Wednesday users will head to their Netflix account and see Adam Sandler staring back at them while donning a Federal Donuts hoodie. If you have seen the trailer for Hustle you’ll be excited. If you have no idea what this movie was about and the Federal Donuts logo has you thinking “is this about Philly?” then you’re in for a treat
On its surface Hustle is a basketball movie. Sandler playing scout Stanley Sugarman of the Philadelphia 76ers who is tasked with scouting european draft prospects. Later he is sent to find the white whale, and he surprises himself by doing just that. He then starts mentoring and training little known Bo Cruz who leaves his family to chase a dream in the states. But that’s what it is on the surface.
At its core, Hustle is a love letter to the city of Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s own Jeremiah Zagar is tasked with directing the film and he didn’t waste a chance to give a nod to his hometown. I don’t know how he found a Johnson and Hardwick hoodie, but the hat tip to the Temple student housing tower was a nice touch. Asking current 76ers Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle, and Tyrese Maxey, along with former 76ers Seth Curry & Boban Marjanovic was a nice touch. The running scenes up and down the Manayunk wall was a nice touch. But you add all of these together and you’ve got a love letter that we haven’t seen since Creed in 2015.
Hustle is not the move creative movie. In a nut shell it is the Kevin Bacon movie “The Air Up There” from the 90’s mixed with the Brendan Fraser movie “The Scout.” Throw in a training montage and you’ve got an easy watch for sports fans. The last time we saw Sandler he was fidgeting for 2 hours in Uncut Gems. While we see a much calmer Sandler, we also see a more serious role. This isn’t Happy Gilmore Sandler, although he cracks some jokes.
We also see our own Anthony Gargano shine! Anthony has two notable scenes with Sandler, and also Ben Foster who plays the son of the Sixers owner. Anthony gets yelled at by Sandler which is pretty cool.
I enjoyed all of Hustle. Even the ridiculous scene where they train up the wall that doesn’t have a car in sight. I drive up and down that street every day and the only thing you wont see is an empty parking space. But that is a minor issue that only someone local would notice and its likely to give you a chuckle.
So on Wednesday if you have 2 hours and are missing Sixers basketball make sure to fire up Netflix and check out Hustle. Not just for you, but for Philly.