One high school drama teacher is about to make a huge number 2.
From the same people that brought you "Little Miss Sunshine," Hamlet 2 is the story of Dana Marschz, a high school drama teacher facing the cancellation of his program. A spoof on the typical story of bringing inner city and privileged youth together to succeed, this offbeat comedy contains a hilarious musical finale.
Well, this was just crap. The only reason I wanted to watch this film was for two reasons:
- It was on BBC1 Saturday night (nothing else on)
- A vague recollection of seeing this being reviewed in Empire Magazine. The trouble was that the magazine belonged to a stranger on the Tube and I could only see it reading it over her shoulder. I could never finish it as I suddenly realised that madam had a very low cut top and although the cleavage was impressive, my police record was not and I had to quickly stop.
With this in mind, I thought, "well let's watch this". I saw Steve Coogan was in it and so I decided to…
With every watch, this little movie continues to impress and tickle me. There's an odd warmth radiating from its loins. I want more... "Hamlet 3: Hamlet Harder," "Hamlet 4: Green Eggs & Hamlet"
Hamlet 2 climaxes with the titular play, a production conceived, written, and starring Steve Coogan's pathetic drama teacher, Dana. The play is a misguided, tonally schizophrenic, pretentious piece of utter garbage that throws absolutely anything that popped fleetingly into its creator's head onstage, with no rhyme and even less reason. Watching this travesty of the theatrical arts, I started to wonder if the play was some sort of ingenious meta-commentary on the hour of cinema that preceded it (or perhaps it was vice versa.) We are subjected to an hour of film that manages to dig itself a veritable graveyard of forced drama and uninspired comedy. The film is an absolute trainwreck and the performance of the fictitious play is like a nesting doll reenactment, unfolding in real time.
Even if that was the filmmakers' admittedly audacious intention, it still fucking sucked.
A film with this title could only be a farcical comedy. The humor isn't for everyone (some of the minds behind South Park were in on the script), but I'm sure not above laughing my head off at a musical number called "Rock Me Sexy Jesus." For me, nearly all the jokes landed like 747s. This makes a good double feature with Pitch Perfect.
As curios go, this one may end up as a major entry in Steve Coogan's movie career, even by his quite scattershot standards. Hamlet 2 is a strange beast - ostensibly a send-up of the classic 'coach makes a bunch of multi-ethnic kids from the wrong side of the tracks into a team' story we saw so much of in the 80's & 90's. Dangerous Minds through the lens of a terrible actor cum drama teacher. The problem is that Andrew Fleming's film plays it so straight, so earnest, at times it seems to forget quite *what* it's sending up and from where to mine a laugh. As a result, the final product can't help but feel lukewarm and not nearly…
There's always something a little off when a British comedian tries to penetrate America. One only has to look at Rik Mayall in Drop Dead Fred and see that in spite of best efforts (and later... cult following), the magic formula is often incredibly elusive.
I'm not entirely sure how he's managed it, but in recent years we've seen Steve Coogan in the Night At The Museum movies, Tropic Thunder and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, to varying degrees of success.
So, the comedy is fairly one-note but there's a perseverance to it. Some jokes are utter duds, yet one or two fleeting moments or scenarios made me laugh out loud. The plot is fairly standard stuff but even…
Moments of bizarre comedic gold. To clarify, both Coogan's performance and the play 'Hamlet 2' itself get 5 stars.
Comedy doesn't get much better than this. Steve Coogan is perfection as Mr. Marschzzzczz.
Your appreciation of "Hamlet 2" strictly hinges on how much you get British comedian Steve Coogan as a leading man with enough gravitas and humor to keep the movie going.
I had been catching up on his Alan Patridge materials and thought he is great to play the socially-awkward type of character but I could see him straying off that tangent here as an aspiring actor who forced to make a living as a high school drama teacher, and a pretty piss poor one.
Coogan tried his best to exercise his physical comedy as well as going insane in many instances here as Dana Marschz, but sadly there were more misses than hits for me.
Writer-director Andrew Fleming attempted to…
I've wanted to see this for a while and was disappointed it never received a full release (or attention) in the UK. Unfortunately it's easy to see why because it doesn't really work and come across like Matt Stone and Trey Parker making a bad Adam Sandler film. It's worth watching because:
1. It's only 86 minutes
2. Steve Coogan is great and not playing himself (Partridge) for once
3. Rock Me Sexy Jesus is one of the funniest scenes/songs in film
Funny enough and that's about it.
"Hamlet 2" shares a writer of "South Park" and "Hot Rod", and plays like an ugly, uneven hybrid of the two. It sporadically attempts to play as a deconstruction of social and artistic norms, devolving into goofiness when the feeling strikes. This awkward balance can be achieved with diligence and rigorous structure, but here it flops. It's satirical aims are too blunt and broad (ethnicity, censorship, cultural evolution, religion...), the film spreading itself too thinly, failing to nab any memorable barbs. Steve Coogan is a game lead and there are a few amusing gags, but the narrative and teenage supporting cast are sub-"School of Rock" - whilst director Andrew Fleming's scatter-shot touch is felt in everything from inconsistent aesthetic flourishes (narration, allusions to classical literary structure) and a bevy of disappointingly low-wattage musical numbers. I expected better.
Horrific film that despite having a cast that includes Coogan, Shue, Keener and Poehler is just one of the worst films I have ever seen.
"Why do I feel like I've been...raped in the face?"
Enjoyable enough, but it feels as if it is trying to hard to be a 'cult classic'