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
After Principal Rocker kicks Dana off campus when they break in, we see a shot of the article written in the school newspaper. What Dana reads a few seconds later is not what is written. The article reads, (grammatically incorrectly), "What about about could possibly offend Principal Rocker to such a degree? Or is offense the offense at all? Selective ignorance is a dangerous commodity. As Roland Barthes tells us, textually and novelistic neutrality may coalesce. Rocker obviously suffers from a case of transposed aggression and questions of self worth. The symbolic nature of his actions show as Jung would point male aggression without release breeds anti intellectual action. Rocker could not possible comprehend the ramifications of transposed aggression and questions of self worth. ..." See more »
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 »
Ah, how refreshing to find a comedy that isn't just gross-out gags, sentimental chick flick trash, or predictable Hollywood tripe... while Hamlet 2 isn't brilliant, and it isn't the funniest thing I've seen ever, it certainly carries its own, and this is largely in part due to Steve Coogan's performance.
Coogan is amazing as the fruity drama teacher who's life is falling apart. His shows are getting panned by a snarky underclassman, his marriage is falling apart, and he is totally uninspired. Through a series of events, he has an all-out crisis, but in a clever switch on the teacher inspires the students genre (Stand and Deliver, Higher Education), the students rally in their own way to help him create his masterpiece - Hamlet 2.
Hamlet 2 is ferociously politically incorrect, and this leads to the principal and some members of the community to try to close down the show, the ACLU (Amy Poehler!) gets involved, and the final performance of the show is a little bit mind blowing... ah, Sexy Jesus.
Yes, this is stuff we've all seen before, but Coogan's performance and his supporting cast, along with solid writing make this a Hollywood comedy that is actually funny.
Since it doesn't have any big stars, and it is a bit atypical, Hamlet 2 will probably fall by the wayside, but don't miss it if you've got the chance - there is hope for comedy yet!
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