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Hustlers is a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, a feature film that Frank Oz directed in 1988 and featured Michael Caine and Steve Martin as undisputed protagonists. The coast of southern France, the varied and imaginative scams of the protagonists and the marked contrasts between the two main characters are some of the elements of the original title that we can find in this new version.
Substantially there are no major differences between the two: the fact that the protagonists become women does not change the argument since the character clash is correctly respected. And in the basics of the plot, the two-run along the same path. However, the final result cannot be more disparate.
Although humor is the fundamental characteristic of the two films and neither one nor the other leaves the genre of comedy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels runs through the entire footage through an intelligent and convoluted tangle of lies, falsehoods, tricks and tricks that they force the spectator to make constant laughter compatible with permanent attention so as not to lose the thread of the protagonists' works. Hustlers, however, after a brilliant, attractive and very well thought out approach, neglects as the criminal intrigue advances to rely almost exclusively on humor strokes. These, omnipresent, work in the first bars, but they are losing bellows to be a repetition, in loop and vulgar, of the fuss of a Rebel Wilson that returns to interpret a character that we all know very well.
Without the original reference, Hustlers would remain a mediocre and disappointing film. But going without many expectations (and wide sleeve in terms of the vulgar) serves to spend an entertaining time. We even dare to add that you can invite, if we want to take advantage of the viewing, to reflect on the evolution of cinema in the thirty years that have passed since the proposal of Oz. And we do not refer so much to the so-called feminine “empowerment” that has transformed the Caine – Martin tandem into Hathaway – Wilson, but more to the fact of the professionalism with which a project exclusively dedicated to fun is faced. It seems as if the fact of making a comedy gave a carte blanche to botch with the script and not put head to finish a job well done. That considering, in addition, that the original version was not a work of art; it just seemed that he took the public more seriously and was not content to present a half-done job.
The thing goes from rich and elegant scammer and poor and vulgar scammer competing, united or confronted, in the hunting of a victim. The game between the two does not work, ingenious dialogues have no ingenuity and funny situations are not really funny.
If in making a female version of a comedy previously starring men and in trusting a role to a chubby woman there is an attempt at political correctness in the sense of female empowerment and rejection of beauty stereotypes, the thing fails even more loudly by making the fat the vulgar character and the thin the elegant one, that just makes it even oppressing, instead of "empowering" the women the film stars, and you might say that this is just about to know how to take things not that serious and that maybe people who see that way don't have a very wide sense of humor, but there's quite a difference between a film that knows (and lets its audience know) how to not take itself for serious, with full irony and sarcasm that makes it funny, in its genre, but Hustlers doesn't belong to that genre, and tries to take itself kind of "for serious" which only ends up making it look cynical.