This remake of 1988’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” is a surprisingly faithful, amusing and occasionally laugh-out-loud comedy that’s held back from greatness because of some regrettable obnoxiousness here and there. Specifically, Anne Hathaway is misused in the Michael Caine role: Despite her natural likability and comedic strengths, she’s shoehorned into a role that brings out her worst traits, saddled as she is with a distracting (and wholly unnecessary) English accent that neuters her typically spot-on timing. Luckily, Rebel Wilson is dependable as always, and infuses the movie with a live-wire comedic energy that brings an unmistakable spark and propels the movie’s narrative forward. The intricate plot is impressively layered (thanks largely to the original’s screenplay), and there are still plenty of surprises along the way even for those familiar with its twists and turns. It’s particularly endearing how much attention to detail there is, with many of the original’s locations making appearances without overwhelming the narrative with overbearing nostalgia.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)