The Hustle (Chris Addison) 1 out of 4 stars.
For every middle of the road studio comedy film, there is one uninspired, unfunny, unwatchable pre-summer flick that makes you question whether this could be the very end of cinema. This “female-centered” remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels focused on two con-artists who create a competition amongst themselves to con a wealthy app creator is one of these movies. Featuring Anne Hathaway with an array of unidentifiable accents and Rebel Wilson as the movie’s personal performing monkey, The Hustle provides the most satisfying entertainment for those who think that Rebel Wilson talking about how much she loves cheeseburgers is funny.
This is a movie that contains at least two movies within it. If you don’t walk out of the theater after the first forty five minutes, you’re probably either incredibly perseverant or merely submissive. The first half is like a bad children’s movie, featuring a completely useless and nonsensical plotline that seems to beg the viewer to keep watching using an array of exaggerated gestures that remind me of some repressed memories I have from bad tv in my childhood. An hour into the suffering, when the actual plot begins, there are small glimpses of hope as the movie sets up a competition between the two leads that at least gives the audience something to cognitively follow. The introduction of theatre denizen Alex Sharp as an overtly Zuckerberg-esque tech bro is the silver lining of the film, bringing hope to an unsalable narrative. While Sharp is fully believable in his own right and the idea of the character itself summons a familiar intrigue, it is the character’s unexpected sentimentality and seemingly empathetic relationship with Wilson that acts as the film’s only saving grace.
The reason that their relationship worked so well, however, is largely due to the treatment of Wilson’s character in the other seventy minutes of runtime. I highly suspect the only reason I liked Sharp’s character so much is because of the ten minutes when his character actually sees Wilson as a person. The filmmakers clearly don’t. One can only take so many jokes centered around her body before they seriously begin to question the motives behind even making women-centered reboots. Whether or not you care for Rebel Wilson or Anne Hathaway, two actors that have both been considered some of the least likeable people in Hollywood, this movie undeniably does neither of them justice.
The Hustle is a bad movie like all other bad movies before it. The only difference here is that this one is trying to sell you on the illusion of diversity, proving that the only real hustle of The Hustle is getting anyone to shell out their money for this drivel.