The most crucial component of the con movie formula is markedly missing from The Hustle.
The Hustle Synopsis
Penny and Josephine are both con women, although they can’t be more different in approach, style, or size. After pestering by Penny, Josephine takes in the larger woman as a protégé, only to dupe Penny of her share of the loot later. In the midst of the ensuing confrontation, the two women agree to a showdown, the loser of which would permanently leave town. Their hit for the competition, a naïve young internet millionaire named Thomas. The targeted sum, half a million dollars.
Thing was, I wasn’t that keen to catch The Hustle after watching the trailer. Something just felt, off, although I couldn’t really put a finger on it. This was in spite of the gorgeous setting and the attractiveness of the leads.
Regardless, I decided to give the movie a go. And promptly discovered what was wrong with it …
But first, the positive aspects! The location was without a doubt, a winner. The exoticism, or should I say decadence, of France’s Cote D’Azur was presented at its most attractive and glitziest. Over-the-top as their antics were, the leads were a laugh every other minute too. Alex Sharp likewise does a remarkable job playing the clueless, fresh-faced millionaire app designer fawned over by two con women.
As for the down side, it’s four words. It, is, not, bright.
Not bright, as in, the entirety of The Hustle is bereft of the sort of wit that makes con artist movies wickedly fun. None of the rackets remotely exhibit any intellectual brilliance; there’s no meticulous build-up or audacious scheming. In fact, all rackets are so firmly in the realm of the ridiculous, their victims had to be brain-dead to have fallen for any of them.
Which admittedly could still be fun to watch, as long as you don’t mind the humour tiring quickly. In my case, I left the moment the credits came on, more interested in getting supper than having another moment of the mismatched duo. In summary, the Hustle is unlikely to have a spot on my hate list for 2019, but you can be sure it wouldn’t be anywhere on my list of memorables too.