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.


Andrew Fleming
3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Coogan ... Dana Marschz
Catherine Keener ... Brie Marschz
Joseph Julian Soria ... Octavio
Skylar Astin ... Rand Posin
Phoebe Strole ... Epiphany Sellers
Melonie Diaz ... Ivonne
Arnie Pantoja ... Vitamin J
Michael Esparza ... Chuy
Natalie Amenula ... Yolanda
Marshall Bell ... Principal Rocker
David Arquette ... Gary
Elisabeth Shue ... Elisabeth Shue
Amy Poehler ... Cricket Feldstein
Shea Pepe Shea Pepe ... Noah Sapperstein
Marco Rodríguez ... Mr. Marquez


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One high school drama teacher is about to make a huge number 2


Comedy | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references, brief nudity and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Skylar Astin's first appearance in a movie. See more »


When Brie Marschz (Catherine Keener) and Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) are arguing in the Mexican restaurant in the middle of their argument, the margarita glass disappears when the camera cuts to Catherine and returns when the camera cuts back to Dana. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: To act is to live.
[followed by a commercial for "Jack LaLanne's Power Juicer"]
See more »


References Soapdish (1991) See more »


Jealous Heart
Written by Thomas Richard Smith Sr.
Performed by Marsha Thornton
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari / MasterSource
See more »

User Reviews

Shue steals the show
3 October 2011 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

This is not a review of the overall movie but instead a review of one (significant) part: Elisabeth Shue. Although she's just a secondary character in the film, I found myself riveted to her performance and laughing riotously at everything she did. She's now officially my favourite actress, and if you see this film there's a good chance she may become yours too.

This is more than just random praise for one of the performers. Actually her character is very relevant to the story. HAMLET 2 is about a washed-up, mediocre actor (played by Coogan) who believes enthusiasm is more important than talent. With a ridiculously optimistic attitude despite a life of failure, he embarks on putting together the most ambitious play ever made: a sequel to Hamlet. The movie is full of madcap situations, and often it borders on utterly absurd. But this is where Shue's character comes in. Playing herself as a fellow "washed-up, mediocre actor" (which is hilarious considering how successful she is in real life), she plays the role with deadpan sobriety. She becomes the "straight man" which is the glue that holds this story together. Shue is the reference point without which the film would spiral into a silly romp.

Movies where actors play themselves with hilarious results:

BEING JOHN MALKOVICH with John Malkovich

COFFEE & CIGARETTES with Steve Coogan, Cate Blanchett, etc

KING OF COMEDY with Jerry Lewis (aka Jerry "Langford")

HAMLET 2 with Elisabeth Shue

See them all. You won't be disappointed!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 August 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hamlet 2 See more »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$439,925, 24 August 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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