Adam Sandler has one of the most hit-or-miss ratios among modern movie stars. For all of the lazy, phoned-in comedies he’s led straight to streaming, we occasionally get the odd Uncut Gems that serves as a reminder that with the right material, Sandler can be electric.
It’s too soon to say whether Hustle is the right material, but it could be. For one thing, as with Uncut Gems, it puts Sandler back into the world of sports. Also like Uncut Gems, the film features performances from actual NBA players, with the trailer giving us a look at Boban Marjanovic and key supporting player Juancho Hernangómez. (The film features appearances by many other players, too.)
Hernangómez portrays the prospect Sandler’s grizzled scout discovers, which is the sort of general sports movie plot we’ve seen before. That doesn’t mean the film itself will be formulaic, though, and even if it just hits the usual beats of this particular premise it could still be a good or even great film.
Here’s the trailer, which Sandler tweeted out:
And the general synopsis, from Netflix:
After discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player with a rocky past abroad, a down on his luck basketball scout (Adam Sandler) takes it upon himself to bring the phenom to the States without his team’s approval. Against the odds, they have one final shot to prove they have what it takes to make it in the NBA.
Hustle, written by Will Fetters and Taylor Materne and directed by Jeremiah Zagar, hits Netflix June 8th.