THE HUSTLE (original title NASTY WOMEN)is a remake of DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS (Michale Caine and Steve martin) which is a remake of the sophisticated comedy, BEDTIME STORY (Marlon Brando and David Niven) One can see the casting of Anne Hathaway who looks posh and refined playing the suave con-artist in opposition to the Rebel Wilson’s con-artist.
The film is set in one of the smaller Riviera towns in the south of France. The town is not big enough for two con artists. The posh one, Josephine (Hathaway) plans to get the crass one, Lonnie (Wilson who also produced the film) out of the town so she can do all the cons herself. But Amy, crass as she is still succeeds in her crooked endeavours.
Though the film can hardly be described as good, one must give credit to both Hathaway and Wilson for trying hard. Wilson tries the hardest, putting her figure often to ridicule to get a few extra laughs while Hathaway uses her posh exterior to inject any class into the movie. If Wilson is the sort of comedienne that annoys you, best stay away from THE HUSTLE as they are lots and lots of her comedy.
The basic premise of the original films is kept in THE HUSTLE while a few updating touches are made. The target is also tech savvy and has acquired his wealth from owning a lot of stock from his own company. The enmity between the two con-artists is still present as the wager of a sum of money that will be won based who gets to bed the prized catch. The lead con-artists have been switched from male to female for the main reason as to update political correctness with more female oriented films. The reason given in the film is that females make better con artists than their male counterparts is that females are smarter and can prey on man’s weakness for the opposite sex. As such the male prize in the story looks rather unattractive as a male specimen, looking nerdish and immature. In real fact, the two female con artists do not do anything really smart either. The main plot takes a while before settling in, allowing Wilson (this is clearly her vehicle) to do her own thing and her own comedy.
Whether based on the two previous films or not, the story comes off as entirely predictable, right up to the very end. When the credits finally roll – what a relief, what transpires is yet another tired and unnecessary make of the the 2 films that could be re-watched instead of this blatant and dull affair. The only ones that turn up hustled are the audience that pay good money to see what has been advertised as a comedy.