ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Review of Hamlet 2

Updated on February 10, 2018
Hamlet 2 Movie Poster
Hamlet 2 Movie Poster

While there are several funny moments there are not enough of them to sustain the comedy of Hamlet 2.

The film is difficult to classify. It is a send-up of the “great white hope inspirational teacher” movie genre, yet it parodies movies like Dangerous Minds and Dead Poets’ Society so closely that the movie falls into the same tropes without much satirical bite.

“Rock Me Sexy Jesus”

As a failure of an actor and high school drama teacher, Dana Marschz, played by Steve Coogan has turned into a naïve optimist. He doesn’t have the talent to act, cannot write a decent play even when copying successful films, is under increasing pressure from his wife, and is facing the elimination of his job because of school budget cuts.

Faced with these obstacles, as well as a class of students who do not respect him, Dana decides to write his own play, a sequel to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet complete with time travel, musical numbers, lightsaber fights, and Jesus as Hamlet’s sidekick. The school and outraged community members threaten the play’s production along with Dana’s devolving personal life such as his inability to impregnate his wife and his falling off the wagon.

The show, however, must go on, and Dana is yanked out of his self-pity by the same students who previously insulted him. It seems he reached them after all. Despite various protests and a cease and desist order, the play proceeds, and simultaneously offends and inspires the community as art often does. Dana succeeds in producing his work and manages to get the play out of Tucson and onto Broadway.


A Satire of Sorts with Steve Coogan

Much of the movie lampoons other films where a teacher reaches out to trouble children and saves them by getting them interested in art, literature, sports, dance, or whatnot. The funniest moments come from the inversion or deconstruction of those tropes such as when Dana finds out some of his students are not the downtrodden street kids he imagines them to be. His own importance int their lives, by extension, is deflated. Other humorous moments arise from Dana’s real conflict with school administrators who do not care about art funding, or his relegation to sharing class space with lunchroom employees or the volleyball team. In most instances, Dana's personal pain becomes the springboard to comedy. Coogan does his strongest work with both the comedy and pathos in these scenes.

Where the Film Falls Flat

Unfortunately the film too often tries to play these stereotypes straight as though it is also trying to be the same genre of film it mocks. Dana’s trouble with alcohol, the relationship between the uptight white girl and irreverent Latino boy, the sexually confused drama student, and the shy girl giving the motivational speech to Dana at just the right moment are all scenes telegraphed in advance and expected, but the movie makes few attempts to satirize them or even play them for laughs.

While Steve Coogan performs well—he is convincing as a man hoping against all evidence—minor roles played by Elizabeth Shue, Amy Poehler, and David Arquette amount to little, which is a shame given the level of comedic talent they should have brought to the table. Similarly, some of the relationships, such as the one between Dana and his wife, do not pan out and seem more like a distractions than a driving element to the movie.

To Watch or Not To Watch

Hamlet 2 makes is worth viewing once to see Steve Coogan’s performance, and the play’s musical number “Rock Me Sexy Jesus” is catchy and comical, fitting with the tone of the movie. However, the viewer will likely be puzzled as to why more of the movie did not reach that level of impertinent fun. There's a fun and dark comedy in this movie, but it doesn't reach that level as often as it should.

© 2010 Seth Tomko

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)