In this irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama-teacher rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The RSC puts a modern spin on Shakespeare's Hamlet in this filmed-for-television version of their stage production. The Prince of Denmark seeks vengeance after his father is murdered and his mother marries the murderer.
Nicol Williamson takes the lead role in this star-studded 1969 version of William Shakespeare's tragedy. Prince Hamlet mourns both his father's death and his mother's remarriage to Claudius... See full summary »
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered by Claudius, Hamlet's uncle. Claudius usurps the throne of Denmark, and marries Hamlet's recently widowed mother. Hamlet is tormented, haunted, and increasingly unstable.
Dana Marschz is a failed actor and recovering alcoholic who's moved to Tucson to teach high school drama, where he's plagued by bad reviews, student indifference, budget woes (he and his wife, who is trying to get pregnant, take in a boarder), and his own teaching limitations. Because the other electives are closed, he finds himself with a large class of seeming gang-bangers, and the principal informs him that drama will be cut next trimester. On the advice of a student reviewer, Dana decides to stage his own play, a sequel to "Hamlet" in which the prince and Jesus, with the use of a time machine, try to save Gertrude and Ophelia. Can Dana for once pull something off? Written by
I had to drive all the way from Palm Springs to Los Angeles to watch "Hamlet 2." Traffic drama notwithstanding, the 2-hour trek is all worth it! I laughed out loud watching this film, which is really a parody of a tragedy. Here are the pluses: Steve Coogan -- he anchors this film from start to finish. He embodies his optimistic loser role. And those great, broad physical comedy? Wow!
Catherine Keener -- only she can lift a one-dimensional role into a living, breathing, likable bitch :)
Elizabeth Shue -- I heard that she injected a lot of self-deprecating scenes into her role, very UN-Hollywood of her!
Musical Scenes -- it's ironic that the play, supposed to be the worst play ever, is the focal point and the bright, shining light of the film.
The "high school" cast -- they each embody stereotypes, and then collectively break through the norms of their roles.
And you know? This is not your "white teacher goes to the ghetto to teach the students life-affirming lessons" film. I applaud the movie for recognizing that, and going one step further.
Irreverent wit -- if you like the UN-PC qualities of South Park, you will love this film!
The only minuses I can think of are not enough character development, specially among the kids in school, and Keneer's twist, while predictable, still feels off-center and trite.
But trust me, you'll laugh and have a great time! I went to see "Hamlet 2" with a friend of mine who's not into the broad comedy genre and fell in love with the movie!
Honestly? The only folks who will hate this film are the ones who live in Tucson, Arizona :)
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