Movie Review: ‘The Hustle’

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Jenna Ye

While waiting for the movie's release, fans spot advertisements all over the city.

On May 10th, 2019, The Hustle, directed by Chris Addison, premiered in thousands of theaters across the United States. The movie starred two female comedy icons that have accumulated countless fans for the various roles they have played over the years. Lead actress Ann Hathaway, with her role as Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries, and Co-Lead Rebel Wilson, known for her role as Fat Amy in the movie series Pitch Perfect were featured as the stars of the  movie. Many fans have expressed their excitement for the duo’s collaboration. “I first saw Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect. I really like her as an actress since she has really good energy,” said Imtiaz Chowdhury ’19, “so I am really excited to see this movie.”

The movie features Rebel Wilson as Penny Rust, a low-grade con artist that swindles men out of money by catfishing them. Ann Hathaway, on the other hand, plays a character of great contrast, as the glamorous British con artist who targets wealthy millionaires in Beaumont-sur-Mer. The main storyline first kicks off when Josephine Chesterfield coincidentally runs into Penny Rust. In an effort to protect her hunting territory from the conspicuous Penny, she proposed a challenge. Both con artist competed to see who could first swindle Thomas Westerberg, a American tech millionaire played by Alex Sharp, out of $500,000. The loser must bow down and depart.

“When my friends and I went to see the movie, there were many times when the audience laughed,” said Mariam Khamis ’19.

Despite initial interest in the movie, many reviewers on online sites seemed disappointed despite the contentedness of fans, even calling The Hustle an “unnecessary” gender remake of the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels released in 1988, which, in itself is a remake of Bedtime Story, a movie released in 1964. Popular sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, and Metacritic displayed low ratings for the movie at 15%, 53%, and 35%, respectively, as of June 11th, 2019. Many commentators and reviewers alike shared their discontent online. Owen Gleiberman from Variety  wrote a movie review that seems to eloquently summarize the opinions of the dissenters. In his article, Glierberman first summarizes the movie, giving praise to the movie’s lead actors for their humor, before pointing out the arguments. The titled quote of the article states, “‘The Hustle,’ fun as some of it is, is a tall fizzy drink in which the fizz never completely rises to the top of the glass.”

On the other hand, some Bronx Science fans have taken quite well to the movie, disagreeing strongly with the negative sentiments of reviewers. “I don’t understand why [the movie] had such low ratings,” said Mariam Khamis ’19. “When my friends and I went to see the movie, there were many times when the audience laughed. And after the movie had ended, many remained in their seats to watch the entirety of the rolling credits. I think everyone really enjoyed it, since people generally won’t do that.” Tanjim Haque ’19 also agreed with this statement. “Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson were a really good pairing for the movie. The juxtaposition between the characters really added to the humor. The plot twists were all unexpected,” said Haque.

Jenna Ye
Tanjim Haque ’19 gives her opinion on ‘The Hustle.’

The Hustle started off well at box offices in Australia and the U.S., however, competition with recently released hits, such as Avengers: End Game and Detective Pikachu, might have further driven down audience numbers along with review ratings. Yet for those who have seen the movie, both sides stand firmly on their opinion.

What is your opinion? Was The Hustle a flopped remake or a roaring success?

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