Netflix's Hustle isn't the first movie -- nor will it be the last movie -- to center on a pair of underdogs doing their best to take on a professional sport.
While the plot may be expected, the cast and direction elevate the one-note elements.
There may be no better actor to play a gruff but lovable coach than Adam Sandler, and his clear love for the game (shared with the numerous cameos and appearances from NBA legends) helps ensure Hustle is a fun if unsurprising experience.
Hustle focuses on Stanley Sugarman (Adam Sandler), a talent scout for the Philadelphia 76ers. After years of traveling the globe seeking out new players for the team, it initially appears as if he's finally gotten a chance to stay in Philadelphia with his family as an Assistant Coach for the team -- only for the new owner, Vince (Ben Foster), to send him back into the field.
While in Spain, Sugarman finds Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangómez) on a street court, hustling other players for cash. Impressed by his innate skill, Sugarman brings Cruz back to America to train.
When Vince refuses to take him on, Sugarman decides to train the player himself in the hopes of establishing his name outside the 76ers and landing Bo a life-changing place in the NBA.
At its core, Hustle is exactly the movie viewers think it's going to be from the get-go -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The film literally name-checks films like Rocky at one point, a clear inspiration for the "underdog trying to prove themselves" storyline for this (and numerous other) sports stories.