In this gender-flipped remake of 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels', Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway step up to the plate, deceiving men and leaving invisible trails of destruction.
It's a fun premise, a premise with potential that unfortunately seems to have been handled just a little too poorly in this instance. It certainly has its moments throughout... Rebel and Anne are pretty great side-by-side in terms of how they bounce off each other. But there's something all-too-familiar about it, and that has nothing to do with the fact that this is a remake.
I left the cinema feeling like I'd seen Rebel in this role before. Clumsy, drily humorous, using that plus-sized-person-ordering-far-too-much-food gag... These are things we've seen from her already, and you could say they've worked in the past, but how many more times is it going to land smoothly?
As for Anne Hathaway, her part in this was a little more convincing, and there were some well-executed lines here and there. Her accents were pretty poor, but perhaps they can be given a pass considering the fact that this movie isn't supposed to be taken completely seriously. Maybe that was the joke.
The rest of the cast is pretty forgettable, with the only other 'lead' actor being Alex Sharp, who actually fits like a glove into the role he's been given. He's quite charming here, and his innocence is a nice respite from the elements of the film that aren't so effective.
It's not all bad, as mentioned already. The premise is strong enough that it keeps you engaged. More action sequences would have been a welcome addition here; fast-paced stunt-work – when done right – is almost always a winner.
What works most of all, though, is Anne and Rebel's on-screen chemistry. They're both talented enough to hold 'The Hustle' up, and that's great... But the hold doesn't feel completely stable. There's a bit of shakiness here, which is a shame.
Overall, this is one of those films which is most effective being watched with a group of friends on a chilled weekend. It's got laughs, it's got two actresses who share the screen effectively enough, and its premise keeps it sufficiently afloat.