Josephine (played by Anne Hathaway) and Penny (played by Rebel Wilson) is an uneven couple with an intense rivalry in the scam business. Sophisticated and cultured Josephine lives and works in the French Riviera, wherewith an efficient team (and the discreet support of all local hospitality employees) she manages to amass a fortune from millionaire men of dubious ethics. Penny, on the other hand, is a vulgar Australian who uses basic but ingenious tricks to defraud men as ordinary as her.
Being terribly intrigued by Josephine's fame, Penny asks her to teach her to be as good of a scammer as Josephine is. But the lessons are not exactly the most effective, so the rivalry between them does nothing but to grow even bigger. The city is too small for both of them and they will determine who stays with the territory through a bet: the first to cheat a millionaire entrepreneur wins. The entrepreneur is Thomas (played by Alex Sharpe), a young app developer with a generous heart and an ace up his sleeve.
Empowered? Not at all
Nobody likes to be seen in the face and it is especially insulting that they wanted to disguise this film with a feminist discourse by giving motivations of gender equity to the head scammers. Instead of simply wanting a life of luxuries and pleasure, they have to have an agenda, charge everything that men have abused seized women and thus avenge the gender. This angle would at least be plausible if the end didn't turn both of them into fools who can't solve life without a man telling them how to do it.
Rebel Wilson, like Melissa McCarthy at the time, has a serious flaw: she doesn't know when to stop. Although she is a talented comedian, her physical and verbal gags are astringent and can make her an obstacle for the audience to enjoy any comedy in which she participates. In The Hustle she has good chemistry with Hathaway, but neither the awkwardness of the first nor the charm of the second is powerful enough to turn around a script as poor as that this film's, which is not even extraordinarily bad: just is mediocre.
In short, save yourself the painful experience and look for any other movie to watch this weekend.
The best: Anne Hathaway looks perfect with a selection of sophisticated costumes and the French Riviera in the background. It shows that she has fun doing comedy, hopefully, next time she has a better script, a better director and a better companion.
The worst: The Hustle follows exactly the same argument as its predecessor, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. In its need to meet the same plot points, it sacrifices the chemistry between its actresses and the possibility of reinventing a known story.
Fun fact: According to an interview to promote the film, Anne Hathaway wanted to make fun of herself by doing an English accent on The Hustle. Hathaway has played several British characters in the cinema, so she tried to make her accent in this movie sound fake as if it were part of his character's hoaxes.