HUSTLE & FLOW Is Crunk (That Means Good)
The first 15 minutes of HUSTLE & FLOW you can pretty much toss. the dialogue is okay, but a bit forced. The characters are sketchy and the filmmaking is just what you'd expect from a low budget film about a pimp. I think if the filmmaker knew how much acclaim his film was going to get he might have wisely edited out a few gratitutios shots of big booty's shaking and flapping.
But in movies, a bad beginning can be forgiven just like a bad ending can destroy a film. And the best section of this movie is the last half hour.
Everyone will tell you this is the year Terrence Howard is discovered as a movie star. (Two trailers on the film had Howard in them.) He's very good here, but I think his performance in CRASH is even better. That one really swings for the fences, while here Howard is as good as the material allows him to be. Which means there are definite moments, but they stand out from the regular pitch of the character. CRASH got my attention; this performances cements his reputation.
The film's a bit dodgy with the pimpin' aspects of Howards character. Kind of like a movie about a likable drug dealer, the writing has to jump through a few hoops to make you root for him. So he's not really that much of a pimp, and he's very nice to his ho's. What the script wisely keeps is a pimps silver tongue for working out a deal to the best advantage. Those scenes, where Howard must snake oil around to strike a deal, are the film's best.
The other great section of the film is the music itself. There's three key songs in the movie and they're all fun to watch as they're put together and catchy as hell. This CD's going to cross over into a lot of sales (and downloads.)
So check out HUSTLE & FLOW. It's better than you think. Just sit patiently through the first section.