The Hustle

The Hustle stars Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson as a pair of con artists who extract money from men using their feminine wiles. Hathaway and Wilson have a great chemistry on screen and some of the physical humor had me laughing so hard that my eyes were watering from laughter. Other times the jokes fell so flat I cringed, especially early on with the lampooning of male behavior so over the top that it seemed like an SNL bit rather than a part of a story they were trying to tell. It takes the movie a while to get its feet underneath it and really start running, but it does eventually get there.

What I didn’t realize going into this movie was that it is actually a reboot of the Steve Martin, Michael Caine and the late Glenne Headly classic, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. As soon as you realize this you know exactly how the story will go down to the last punch line. That is a real bummer for fans of the original because you know one of the biggest end reveals about half way through the movie.

Knowing the twist at the end doesn’t ruin the movie, but it did take a lot of the fun out of it and I wish they changed the twist to outsmart the audience who knew they were following the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels playbook.

Rebel Wilson plays off Anne Hathaway really well, I’d actually like to see them do something original together in the future. The chemistry reminds me of David Spade and Chris Farley with Hathaway playing the straight man and Wilson playing the physical comedian. The best parts of this movie are when these two are facing off in a scene trying to outdo one another.

I can’t say this enough; I really wish they changed the twist at the end so that I could have enjoyed it more because I really wanted to like it. Those who have never seen Dirty Rotten Scoundrels may enjoy it more than I did. The lady behind me was so shocked with the twist reveal at the end that her gasp was audible across the theater, so obviously not everyone has seen the original.

Because of the big laughs I did have while watching this movie I can’t say I hated the movie, it was definitely good for some laughs. But the con of the movie is to get you into the theater without you realizing that it’s just a replica reboot of a classic.

Two and a half out of five stars