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Hustle, The


Stars: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Tim Blake Nelson, Ingrid Oliver

Director: Chris Addison

A misfiring feminist remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which was itself a remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Story. Alas, Hathaway and Wilson can't come near filling the shoes of Michael Caine and Steve Martin in the 1988 romp, far less those of David Niven and Marlon Brando in the original.

If you've seen either of those, you'll know the twist at the end, but this script is so brainless you'll probably guess it anyway.

Hathaway, forced for some reason to adopt a (strangulated) English accent, is Josephine, the queen of con-artists working on the Riviera, who finds her territory invaded by crude Australian con-girl Penny (Wilson), who's so dozy she doesn't even understand what 'au revoir' means (really?). At any rate, they soon call a truce, after skirmishes that prove the most entertaining part of the film, and settle on a 500,000-pound wager as to who can squeeze the most out of a young American cyber-millionaire (Sharp), the loser to leave the scene for good.

The leads just aren't up to this, especially given a script that embarrasses them both without entertaining the audience, and forces them to try way too hard. There's quite a long scene after the credits, but honestly you shouldn't bother.

David Quinlan

USA 2019. UK Distributor: Universal (MGM). Colour by Company 3.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 09 May 2019