How do you turn material like this into a movie? Based on the “Pain Hustlers” trailer, you try to emulate both “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Big Short.” This isn’t exactly new ground for Netflix — their recent series “Painkiller” took a very “Big Short”-like approach to the origins of the opioid crisis. All that said, it’s hard for me to get a read on “Pain Hustlers” based on what’s on display here. I’m sure the film itself will be less manic, but I’m also not sure this is how you should sell a feature like this.
Still, I like Emily Blunt and Chris Evans, and while Evans may be best known as Captain America, he seems to be an actor who thrives when he gets to play morally dubious characters, as he does here.
Here’s the official “Pain Hustlers” synopsis:
Liza Drake (Emily Blunt) is a blue-collar single mom who has just lost her job and is at the end of her rope. A chance meeting with pharmaceutical sales rep Pete Brenner (Chris Evans) puts her on an upwards trajectory economically but dubious path ethically as she becomes entangled in a dangerous racketeering scheme. Dealing with her increasingly unhinged boss (Andy Garcia), the worsening medical condition of her daughter (Chloe Coleman), and a growing awareness of the devastation the company is causing forces Liza to examine her choices.
The cast also includes Catherine O’Hara, Jay Duplass, Brian d’Arcy James, Amit Shah, Aubrey Dollar, and Willie Raysor. “Pain Hustlers” will play at the Toronto International Film Festival this month. After that, it’s headed to select theaters on October 20, 2023, before hitting Netflix on October 27, 2023.