The Hustle

Release Date:May 9, 2019
Review Date:May 9, 2019
Reviewer:Blake Leath
Genre(s):Comedy

Pleasant, not particularly painful, but perhaps not worth the effort?

Rebel Wilson (however funny) continues to be a bit one-note, having arguably played the same character in Isn't It Romantic, Absolutely Fabulous, How to Be Single, and Pitch Perfect 1, 2, and 3. I do like her, though; her scrappy sassiness and snark always make me grin until I chortle.

For her part, Hathaway—typically strong—could just as easily have portrayed the mark in this one, the victim, the daffy damsel, the bumbling boob. She has that—Je ne sais quoi—Peter Sellers/Pink Panther vibe going on throughout much of the film: half witty, half dim, and sometimes combinations of both in a single scene. I'm not buying her as the mentor.

My working theory (such as it is) is that she shines as an ‘actress,’ whenever she draws upon her soprano, or as the comic foil (see The Princess Diaries, Ella Enchanted, The Devil Wears Prada, Get Smart, Alice in Wonderland, Les Misérables, or Colossal) but stumbles as an ‘athlete,’ despite having played soccer as a child (see The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Ocean's Eight, Serenity, or The Hustle). When she aims for 'tough,' it mostly comes across 'dopey,' but when she does 'thespian,' she does it as well as anyone. But what do I know? Her combined films have earned nearly $7 billion worldwide, and I'm just the suckered stooge who keeps showin' up and critiquin'.