Chris Addison’s directorial debut is a gratingly vapid and clunky misfire of seen-it-before set-ups that never settles on whether it’s a parody or a homage.

This gender-swapped remake of 1988’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which was a remake of 1964’s Bedtime Story, is so ill-considered and erratically realised that it can only aspire to stupidity in its characters and in itself.

The odd-couple dynamic between Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson as feuding con artists drives the film for the first hour, but as the gimmick wears off the co-stars find themselves drowning in bad material.

The plot is a paint-by-numbers concoction of clichés and contrivances, laughs are sporadic at best and cobbled together in the second half as the film trudges from one mishap to the next.

The script is a couple of rewrites short of 'developed' and feels like a misguided effort to capitalise on the stars' comedic talents.

Wilson frantically overacts without much to do, while Hathaway’s flair for comedy is distracted by her eh, interesting British accent.

The Hustle is relentless formulaic fodder that will leave viewers feeling like they’ve been swindled.