You may not know this, but the new film The Hustle is a gender swap remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Starring Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway, the movie tells the story of two female con artists who wind up in the same city and discovering that the city may not be big enough for the two of them.
There have been some scathing reviews for this movie. I may not have found it great, but I did not hate it as much as many of the critics seem to. Don’t misunderstand me though… this is not a good movie. It is one of those meh films that have some okay moments but could have been better.
Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson are fine here, but neither really excels with their characters. Hathaway is the rich and snooty con artist and Wilson is more of the down home girl who uses the same shtick on everybody. While we get a few flashes of likability with Wilson’s character, there is little to cheer for in Hathaway. In fact, there is almost zero character development for wither lady, with the little glimpses we get tossed aside at the end for a nonsensical finale.
The story bounces around with Hathaway first trying to get rid of Wilson from her city and then the two ladies going against each other in an attempt to can the wealthy tech guy Thomas (Alex Sharp). It is during this time frame where Wilson pretends to be blind for a significant part of the film and is fairly offensive while doing it.
Once again, as with last week’s Long Shot, if a film is funny, some, if not most, of its flaws can be ignored. Unfortunately, there is little humor here and what is funny turns out to be fairly cliched. Both female leads are passable, but both have given considerably better performances in their careers. The story is truly a mess and one wonders why we needed this remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in the first place. Sure it is not as bad as Rotten Tomatoes is suggesting, but it is not near fresh either.