Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

‘Pain Hustlers’ movie review: Chris Evans and Emily Blunt can’t save this mediocre drama on meds

By Sampad Oct28,2023
Chris Evans, Andy Garcia and Emily Blunt in a scene from ‘Pain Hustlers’

Chris Evans, Andy Garcia and Emily Blunt in a scene from ‘Pain Hustlers’
| Photo Credit: Brian Douglas

Chris Evans’ run after he hung his superhero boots hasn’t been particularly fantastic, and with Pain Hustlers, his stint with mediocre films continues. This time though, it also involves Emily Blunt, fresh off her success with Oppenheimer, who can’t make do with the new Netflix film centred around her character. Blunt totally deserved a film that revolves around her, and she totally owns her character in Pain Hustlers. Howeverwith a predictable storyline, and lacklustre moments, the film leaves you wishing she and you deserved more.

In Pain Hustlers, Blunt plays Liza Drake, a single mother trying to keep her simple little world afloat. Add to the equation tropes like a dysfunctional family and a child with a medical condition, and it becomes apparent that she’d do anything to turn her life around. Pete Brenner (Evans) shows her that route when he brings her aboard a sinking pharmaceutical company headed by Jack Neel (Andy García), and after taking the not-so-legal route, Liza and Pete put themselves and their company on the map.

Pain Hustlers (English)

Director: David Yates

Cast: Emily Blunt, Chris Evans, Catherine O’Hara, Andy García

Runtime: 123 minutes

Storyline: A single mother joins a failing pharmaceutical company that she turns into a money-making machine only for it to be retaliated with dire consequences

But, as always, what goes up must come down, and it comes down hard on Liza. If this plot sounds eerily similar to The Wolf of Wall Street, you’re not alone. Both are based on real-life incidents and showcase the rise and fall of common folks wanting a high-flying lifestyle at the expense of turning into fraud while indirectly sabotaging the lives of many.

But unlike the 2013 film, which its director Martin Scorsese laces with brilliant moments and momentary wins for its characters that you almost end up rooting for, Pain Hustlers is just a painfully boring recount of the life of Liza. David Yates, known for helming the last four Harry Potter movies, proves his world-building strength once again. Within a few minutes, we understand Liza’s world, her relationship with her mother and sister, her trouble with a sustainable income, and being a dotting parent.

Unfortunately, this is also where Pain Hustlers falters. By turning this into the struggles of Liza, the film takes away the chances of it being an audacious tale of hustlers, who, metaphorically, cause more pain than what they promote to ease. We then have a story we can foretell a mile away. Despite a brilliant star cast, except for Blunt, the rest have very little to do, and the sheer lack of material is the reason behind it. While Pain Hustlers is a forgettable drama, the pain of seeing some excellent performers not getting their due is an agony that even prescribed medication can’t alleviate.

Pain Hustlers is currently streaming on Netflix

By Sampad

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