I've Been Hustled
Alongside Rebel, Alex Sharp takes a stand in a positive light. He's a fantastic actor (don't take my word for it, the boy has a Tony), and he appears much younger than his thirty years would suggest. As the perfect mark for the competing lady cons, he carries the audience through the film, making us love him and care about him far more than either Hathaway or Wilson. The twist at the end, though slightly clumsy in execution (I blame the writing), made me love him all the more.
Most everything else.
Not only were lines taken directly from the original to pad the sad and sorry script, but the limping attempt to recreate something wonderful with a feminine twist fell flat on its face.
The story - The story has been done, as it was a remake. The clever thing to do would be to change up the script. Not just a gender-swap remake, but a whole new take on the story. They didn't even bother, recycling some scenes shot for shot, line by line, and disappointing the masses.
The areas where they did stray didn't hit the mark - Hathaway training Wilson how to be a violent but classy lady never came into the story. It was a useless montage that managed two laughs from my decently-filled-for-a-matinee theater. They also went for a vomit-worthy "gag" involving a french fry and a toilet. Pointless, gross, and a waste of precious minutes - not to mention a quick way to kill suspension of disbelief. In that moment I fell out of the story, gagged a few times, and struggled to find my way back in.
I read an article from a movie critique lamenting modern comedy - what happened?
I'll tell you what happened.
Most attempts at comedy these days are remakes, but almost none of them are clever. Instead of making an effort to do something new, they rehash old lines and old jokes, but expect audiences old and new to take them in without question. Between The Hustle, Overboard, and Arthur (and many others even outside the comedy genre), we have stale attempts to redo classics. They're the worst bits about Hollywood paraded before us.
Who cares if it's new, interesting, or worthwhile? Churn something out and expect the people to turn up.
In case Hollywood hasn't noticed, movies are down. People aren't flocking to the theaters like they used to, and this is why.
When Hollywood treats its viewers as intelligent consumers, they get good results: Endgame, Logan Lucky, Oceans 11, 22 Jump Street - some of these are remakes and some are brand new, but all did well on Rotten Tomatoes and at the box office.
The Marvel team and the Russo brothers knew Endgame was a game changer. They knew nothing else would ever be like it. They took their time, made an effort, and completed an enormous goal.
Oceans 11 is a remake that outshines the original, and like Logan Lucky (both directed by Soderberg) mixes comedy with heist intrigue.
22 Jump Street is a sequel, yet manages to outshine its predecessor by being smart.
Even Disney has found a way to (almost always) shine in a remake. With the exception of a few (Dumbo, Maleficent), they've been delightful, new, and exciting - a way for adults to relive their childhood and for children to experience something beautiful.
Cleverness, creativity, and passion go a long way, and until the studios realize they can't just keep handing over remade trash and expecting us to be excited.
I know many clever writers who have told fantastic stories - go read their books and make THOSE into movies.
The acting - Oh heaven help Anne Hathaway and her sad, strange accent. I'm not sure where she found it, but I would return it as soon as possible. It didn't help that she's playing a revamped Michael Caine, who is actually British, posh, and capable of an array of accents. Hathaway struggled all the way through the film, donning some odd, Vaudevillian voice and calling it Dutch halfway through the film. Between the two accents I struggled to take anything she said as funny.
None of Hathaway's jokes landed. It was painful to watch someone so talented struggle so much - especially when I know she's capable of comedy.
It was painful to watch, to listen to, and to yawn through. Michael Caine plays a likable character in the original, but Anne Hathaway quickly became a villain. Her character wasn't handled in any way that could create sympathy, and while Wilson's character was meant to be the most sympathetic, there should have been SOMETHING for Hathaway's to make the ending worthwhile.
The directing - The timing started off and remained off all throughout the lagging hour and a half run time. Every joke took a second too long to say (unless it was Rebel Wilson, who can handle herself just fine), leaving most of the jokes stale and flat by the time they arrived. Chris Addison didn't know how to handle these two powerhouse women or Alex Sharp, and he didn't deserve them.
2 feathers (One for Wilson and one for Sharp)
Go watch Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and if you're still curious, wait for The Hustle to be on streaming.
10/6/2022 09:50:18 am
Performance raise his fast send. Word red she. Born actually interesting career.
Leave a Reply.
Ranting, raving, loving every minute of it - let's talk movies.