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.
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
In Hamlet 2, the play within the movie, Hamlet forgives his father, but Hamlet has nothing for which to forgive his father in Shakespeare's play. If there's anyone Hamlet could forgive it's his father's murderers, Hamlet's mother and uncle. However, even though this could be a mistake on the Dana Marschz's part, he does prove himself knowledgeable of Hamlet, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to write a sequel. See more »
To act is to live.
[followed by a commercial for "Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer"]
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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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