Unlikely pairing comedies have always been a medium that is worth the risk in film. You are able to take big swings with two people who are nothing alike and throw them in situations where laughs can be easy. From Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill to Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, there are always combos you would never think to pair that work. Can The Hustle with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson be the next successful attempt? Not a chance in hell. Wow, was this movie bad. The Hustle is an abomination of a film that is so out of touch of what audiences are looking for today that it is embarrassing.
The Hustle is a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels where we see women in the lead roles instead of men. These women are both con artist whose cons collide with one another in which they must work together to get what they desire. However, teamwork only goes so far when you are trying to steal money from wealthy people. First of all, who was asking for this remake? Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a fine film but there is no audience out there asking for another rendition of it. Since you are remaking this film, what are you bringing to it that is new or interesting? Having women in the leads conning men who look down upon them is a great idea. There is something there of worth that could send a good message. Unfortunately, the film throws it all away by pitting the women against each other and settling for cheap gags and jokes that just come across as sad. This film has no morals, no ambiguity, and completely unaware of the potential their concept has. This feels like a film that should’ve come out in the late 90’s with just how awful of a comedy it is.
With a comedy comes the jokes, which some would argue, is the most important part. To call what was done in this film “jokes” is a joke within itself. It was like watching a comedian bomb on stage or letting a heckler be funnier than them. They tell jokes that don’t make you laugh and then sit on them because they think you’re laughing when in actuality you are miserable. It is just immature execution of humor happening repeatedly where they think that someone making a ridiculous face or falling down is funny. There were moments of dead silence in the theater during jokes because they literally pause for you to laugh. When your best joke is that a character makes her dress look like a trash bag, there’s a problem. Especially when that scene is in the trailer. The story also has no consistency whatsoever. Instead of a fluid film, it feels like a series of misadventures that happen all separate from one another. The leads meet out of coincidence on a train in one story. Then they train together in another that ends in a forced disagreement. Finally, they have a pointless competition to each swindle the same guy that turns into a love story that is clearly shoved in and you just don’t buy. Nothing about this story is engaging or sensical and just leads to boredom.
Now we have to address the two leads in Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway. Both are very well accomplished in their own respects with Hathaway being one of the best actresses working today. Unfortunately, they do not click at all. What they have Anne Hathaway do is just stupid and disrespectful by giving her a poor Italian accent and making her character way over the top. She is certainly not believable, and this has to be the worst role she has ever taken in her career which is saying something considering Serenity already came out this year. Rebel Wilson however is the worst part. She is a producer on this film and had a heavy hand in getting it made. What it comes off across as a child getting their own box of markers and drawing all over their face. She was given free reign and completely squanders it. Rebel Wilson at this point is just doing the same character in every film and is in need of a change fast.
The Hustle is a dirty, rotten waste of time and it just hustled me out of two hours I’ll never get back. It displays a career low for Anne Hathaway and proves Rebel Wilson needs to make a drastic change in her career before she reaches the point of no return. This is one of the worst studio films I have seen in a long time and left the theater angry for the first time I can remember. Do not fall for this con.
The Verdict: 0.5 out of 5 Stars