Archived: Review: Hamlet 2 (2008) - archived

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With only a dodgy advertising history to his CV, Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) turns to high school drama teaching. But with the school making budget cuts the drama class becomes suddenly popular with latin-American students who don’t want to learn and who disrupt the only two other pupils in the class. Just as they start to bond, drama class is cut from the curriculum too and all their hard work is for nothing.

They decide to put on a play to end their final term that is written by Dana himself, Hamlet 2, where Hamlet uses a time machine to save his family and beloved but which also features Jesus and scenes from Star Wars. Drawing on his own experiences of his father’s disapproval, Dana’s play is chastised from every angle for its lack of political correctness and blasphemy but the students are unperturbed and the play gets staged.

This was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival with many studios bidding on it however try as it might, the film lacks any punch and suffers from lack of humour. It’s a push piece for Coogan whilst everyone else takes a backseat, even Catherine Keener is reduced to a mere cameo role. The only saving grace is the final showpiece, the play with its two controversial yet catchy tunes ‘Raped in the Face’ and ‘Rock Me Sexy Jesus’.

It’s a story that you’ve seen a thousand times before but its not told in any new way and offers nothing memorable. Coogan does put in a fine performance and although his American accent is impressive there was something unnerving about it that just doesn’t sit right. As for the rest of the cast, they are forgettable and strewn by the wayside. An unimpressive and unfunny stab at something that needed to be very different.

Archived: Review: Hamlet 2 (2008) - archived
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