Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway's 'toe-curling' remake of 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' is getting panned

Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway in The Hustle (Credit: Universal Pictures)

The much-beloved Dirty Rotten Scoundrels saw Michael Caine and Steve Martin in some of the finest comedy work of their careers.

To remake it, as the Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway-led The Hustle, very much played into debate of why, as movie fans, we need to be subjected to so many re-booted and re-hashed ideas.

Read more: McConaughey and Hathaway’s new movie panned by critics

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels itself was even a remake of Bedtime Story, the 1964 movie starring David Niven and Marlon Brando, making The Hustle a remake of a remake.

But it appears that in this case, the concerns are more than valid.

The comedy caper, directed by British stand-up comedian Chris Addison, is being absolutely pummelled by critics, one pithily calling is 'a megaton blast of pure unfunniness'.

The Hustle (Credit: Universal)

In the movie, Hathaway plays the classy scam artist, Caine's character, who comes up against Rebel Wilson's crass huckster, Martin's character, in the South of France.

But many have noted that it is a 'beat-for-beat copy' of the original movie, the plot lifted wholesale.

“Those looking for a sharply feminist reinvention of this tale will have to wait another couple of decades,” writes The Hollywood Reporter.

“Though the 55-year-old plot's bones are sturdy and its new performers gifted, moviegoers hoping for a mercilessly funny post-Weinstein revenge fantasy (its poster declares: 'They're giving dirty rotten men a run for their money') will walk away feeling conned.”

The LA Times has similar reservations: “While The Hustle stays true to the twists and turns of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, one can't help but feel like the film, which preaches the power of women over the men who might underestimate them, is ultimately a bit of an 11th hour bait-and-switch of its own, message-wise. It's the irony of all ironies that one walks away from The Hustle feeling a little, well, hustled.”

But these notices are VERY much from the kinder end of things.

Actors Steve Martin and Michael Caine starring in Frank Oz's film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in which the pair play competing con artists, Cote d'Azure, 1988. (Photo by Terry O'Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images)

Robbie Collin in The Daily Telegraph, in a savage one-star review, is rather more brutal.

“To say that I didn’t laugh once during The Hustle would be factually accurate, yet it doesn’t quite capture the strength and intensity of the not-laughing I was doing throughout,” he writes.

“Here is a comedy so relentlessly and violently toe-curling that I left the cinema walking like one of the velociraptors that clacks along the kitchen worktops at the end of Jurassic Park.”

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw concurs, writing: “Anne Hathaway detonates a megaton blast of pure unfunniness in this terrifying film.

Read more: Every terrible movie with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes

“She leaves behind a mushroom cloud of anti-humour, reducing every laugh possibility to grey-white ash in a postapocalyptic landscape of horror and despair.

“If J Robert Oppenheimer had witnessed this, he might have staggered out of the cinema auditorium, subjected the foyer to his stricken thousand-yard stare, and murmured that Hathaway had become Death of Comedy, the destroyer of gags.”

Per Rolling Stone: “The Hustle flutters and sputters and all too quickly goes splat. Shot nearly two years ago and awaiting a release an unsuspecting public should have been spared. Any comedian will tell you: Don’t let them see you sweat. This movie damn near drowns in perspiration.”

The Hustle is out now across the UK.