The Hustle is odd. L&D tend not to do too much pre-scouting of these movies, so we just knew it fell in the grifter-comedy genre. But within a few minutes of sitting down it became apparent that this is a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which itself I believe was a remake), with female leads Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson replacing Michael Caine and Steve Martin (mostly respectively). Among one of the many reasons it is odd is that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, while funny in spots, just wasn’t that strong of a story, relying on Caine and Martin’s gravitas to carry enough laughs to make it worth your while.
And that’s my review of this one: Wilson and Hathaway are pretty funny and we both laughed out loud here and there, but the story was quaggy and we left the theater thinking maybe we should have seen Tolkien instead. The big downside is that attempts to remake some of the stronger scenes from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels — Caine unwittingly racking up winnings at the tables and Martin’s portrayal of Ruprecht — just didn’t stack up. Hathaway and Wilson have their moments, sure, just not enough of them. But we did laugh. Comedy is still hard.
Another potential plus for our readers in the tundra, the movie is set along the French Riviera, wherever that is, and it is gorgeously shot. As we labor through the 32nd week of winter here in east central Wisconsin, even movie screen sunshine is welcome at this point. But our guess is that you will get a much bigger payoff from Long Shot.