The Hustle (2008)

R   |    |  Comedy


The Hustle (2008) Poster

Disenchanted pest sprayer and single dad Freddie Manning is always trying to hustle a tiny bit more from his disappointing life when he suffers a series of setbacks that puts him in the ... See full summary »

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24 January 2014 | vchimpanzee
Crude and disrespectful to religion, but presents a message of faith anyway
Junior Walker and Freddy are exterminators. Freddy still lives with his mother, who is raising Freddy's daughter and wishes her son would grow up. As a result of a wild chase, Freddy accidentally caused the Chinese mob to lose $10,000, and the mob want their money back in a week--or else! The guys get a painful demonstration of what could happen.

One of the company's clients is the predominantly African-American Bethel Baptist Church, whose pastor is old and fat, and his second-in-command is eager to replace him. The pastor mistakes the exterminators for replacement pastors that he had asked for, and they don't deny that's who they are. The pastor ends up in the hospital in a coma, so Freddy and Junior take over as pastors, to the dismay of Brother Efrom, who has them checked out.

Freddy, who admires the work of greedy and charismatic TV preacher Rev. Isaac Montgomery Paid, sees a perfect way to make money. Easter is a week away, and Freddy sets a goal for the struggling congregation. Only a few people show up the first Sunday, but people like Freddy a lot, and while they don't give at first, Freddy is very persuasive and goes out into the community. Derrick, one of the few white people at this church (and maybe the only one) offers to put some life into the church's lame band.

So will Freddy succeed? Not just in raising the money but in remaking the church.

This movie has its good points. While Freddy's intentions are less than honorable, he does good work in the process. It is true that this movie does not have a lot of respect for Christian values. But most of the characters seem genuine in their faith, in the sense that they are holier than thou and their own sins aren't as but as other people's. That's about as genuine as you will usually find in Hollywood.

David Alan Grier is the standout performer, and I do mean performer. The TV preacher only appears on TV screens.

John Witherspoon, who is great as the President's Dad in "The First Family", plays a barber. I liked seeing him here.

I have to wonder why, a week before Easter, no mention was made of Palm Sunday, or Maundy Thursday, or Good Friday.

I saw a cleaned-up version but it is obvious this film is vile and filthy.

Is it a movie with a faith message? Yes, in a sense it is.

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