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.
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 :happy
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
Title: Hamlet 2
Alt Titles : Hamlet 2 - I anastasiGreece (),
Runtime: 92 mins
User Rating: 6.5
Tagline: One high school drama teacher is about to make a huge number 2
One high school drama teacher is about to make a huge number 2
• Albert Berger executive producer
• Eric Eisner producer
• Michael Flynn executive producer
• Leonid Rozhetskin producer
• Aaron Ryder producer
• Ron Yerxa executive producer
• Ralph Sall
Trailer (if any): Click here
Plot Outline: No plot summary available
• Steve Coogan as Dana Marschz
• Catherine Keener as Brie Marschz
• Joseph Julian Soria as Octavio
• Skylar Astin as Rand Posin
• Phoebe Strole as Epiphany Sellars
• Melonie Diaz as Ivonne
• Arnie Pantoja as Vitamin J
• Michael Esparza as Chuy
• Natalie Amenula as Yolanda
• Marshall Bell as Principal Rocker
• David Arquette as Gary
• Elisabeth Shue as Elisabeth Shue
• Amy Poehler as Cricket Feldstein
• Shea Pepe as Noah Sapperstein
• Marco Rodríguez as Mr. Marquez
• Deborah Chavez as Mrs. Marquez
• Kevin Wiggins as Policeman #1
• Johnnie Hector as Policeman #2
• Nat Faxon as Glenn from Copy Shop
• Steve Corona as Horace
• Arron Shiver as Virgil
• Josh Berry as Mr. Mann
• Margarita Wilder as Julia De La Huerta
• Evan Adrian as Danny the Waiter
• J.D. Garfield as Man with Envelope
• Mary Evans as Parent #1
• Tomas Sanchez as Parent #2
• Mike Hatfield as Man in Truck
• John Hardman as Old Dude
• Stephen Eiland as Scary Gang Banger