25 September 2023

The Hustle

Start the conversation

Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.

Director: Chris Addison, MGM, M 93 Minutes.

For his first feature film, former television director Chris Addison has chosen to remake Frank Oz’s huge 1988 comedy hit ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, replacing the two male con artists with a female-led couple starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson.

Addison has adapted a similar storyline setting it again on the French Riviera with the first encounter between the female con artists being on a train-between the classy Josephine Chesterfield (Hathaway –‘Colossal’) and the rough Aussie Penny Rust (Wilson –‘Pitch Perfect’).

Before long Penny coerces Josephine to teach her a few techniques in conning wealthy men from the top end of town to the considerable displeasure of corrupt collaborator Brigitte (Ingrid Oliver’s first film) and Albert (Nicholas Woodeson –‘Beirut’) her butler.

Their pretentious partnership initially leads to a number of comical situations, often at Penny’s expense, until a disagreement arises with Josephine during which Penny demands a cut in the proceeds defrauded from the many duped victims.

To settle their conflicting stances Josephine challenges Penny to choose the naïve and unassuming Thomas (Alex Sharp –‘UFO’) a high-tech whiz-kid as the target for her final con in the hope of getting rid of Penny forever.

In the scam, Penny pretends to be a powerless blind woman seeking Thomas’s help to fund an expensive operation from a Swiss doctor, only to see Josephine suddenly appear as that Swiss doctor and staying at Thomas’s same hotel.

By the end of the con it is clear that no-one was successful in getting hold of Thomas’s fortune in addition to acquiring the luxurious and stylish home in Beaumont-sur-Mer.

In imitating the 1988 surprise twist in the concluding scenes it turns out that it is the scheming female con artists who are actually conned by an unsuspecting male person.

As enjoyable as this version is with the leading characters’ performances, it certainly lacks the chemistry in the scenes between Michael Caine and Steve Martin compared to the portrayals by Hathaway and Wilson in Addison’s production.

Vic’s Verdict: 3 Stars

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.