10
Sep
08

Movie Review: Hamlet 2

 

 

Something else that didn’t need a sequel…

 

Starring Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener, David Arquette, and Elisabeth Shue. Directed by Andrew Fleming.

 

“Rock me, rock me/ Rock me sexy Jesus…”

 

Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. Coogan (“Hot Fuzz,” “Tropic Thunder”) stars as failed actor-turned-high school drama teacher Dana Marschz (which no one can pronounce correctly). The effeminate teacher lives in Tucson, AZ where he teaches drama and puts on plays based on popular movies; when the movie starts the senior play is “Erin Brokovich.” He is married to Brie (Keener) who hopes that he’ll quit his teaching job in order to go back to working at Rite Aid so they can have some money and kick-out their current boarder Gary (Arquette). Added to his marital woes is the possibility he may be “shooting blanks.”

 

If that wasn’t enough Mesa HS has cut back on all their art programs leaving only the drama department, which Marschz is soon notified will be cut after the end of the semester. In a desperate attempt to save theatre, he locks himself into his office and creates “Hamlet 2,” a sequel to the original that entails Hamlet going back in time to stop everyone from dying and in the process, forgiving his father. Somehow, Jesus Christ, Albert Einstein, and Satan are all part of the process. When the principal is given the script and all but shuts the production down due to its controversial nature, his drama students decide to take it “off campus,” thus upping the controversy ante. In walks Cricket Feldstein (Amy Poehler), an ACLU rep who will stop at nothing to preserve free speech, or at least sue for it. Lastly is Elisabeth Shue as herself; she works as a nurse because she got tired of all the crap that happens in the world of acting.

 

Lest I forget the music numbers “Raped in the Face,” and “Rock Me Sexy Jesus,” as well as “Maniac” and “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” as sung by the Gay Men’s Choir of Tucson.

 

So, what did I think?

 

When I first saw the trailer I couldn’t get the “Rock Me Sexy Jesus” riff out of my head. It’s damned catchy. And when you see it in the movie, you love it by the end. However, what hurts this movie is the “trailer syndrome”: everything funny about the movie is showcased within the 2-5 min cinematic promo. And the fact that the first half of the movie  d r a g s. Everything seemed to play out for the sake of playing out. Around Act 4/5 of the movie everything picks up and becomes more enjoyable.

 

Outside of the musical numbers there is the core of what the script was written about: a father disapproving of what a son wanted to do with his life and the later reconciliation/forgiveness. That I haven’t seen dealt with before. Coogan does a good job at being the “every artist” with a “denouncing dad” complex. Outside of that, I wished the film was either more dramatic or more comedic.

 

Do I recommend this? Maybe video rental.

 

My grade: C+

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Movie Review: Hamlet 2”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: