The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

HAMLET 2 (2008) ***

Hamlet 2 is all about a former actor turned high school drama teacher (Steve Coogan) who writes a sequel to Shakespeare’s classic play.  When its lurid subject matter (handjobs, lightsabers, time traveling, and a “sexy” version of Jesus) sharply divides the community, Coogan is forced to put on the play elsewhere.  With a little help from a snarky ACLU lawyer (Amy Poehler) and some of his cast’s gangbanger homies, the play goes off without a hitch and everyone in the town gets to enjoy Sexy Jesus in all his glory. 

 

The film was co-written by Pam Brady who is a writer for South Park and it features a lot of that show’s potty mouth humor and great songs.  Like South Park, there is an undercurrent of satire running throughout the film.  On the surface, Hamlet 2 primarily pokes fun at high school drama types, but the movie’s main theme is that no one has the right to censor the arts; no matter how bad the final product is.

 

Coogan is good as the blustering drama teacher.  While he’s funny while interacting with his gangbanger students, the brief glimpses of his character’s early acting career will give you the biggest laughs.  (Especially the herpes commercial.)  David Arquette also gets some solid chuckles as the dude who knocks up Coogan’s wife and although his role is small, he makes his screen time count.  Probably the best performance in the bunch though comes from Elisabeth Shue, who plays herself.  Playing yourself in a movie is a difficult task but Shue straddles the line of playing a real character and parodying herself nicely.

 

Hamlet 2 is a bit uneven.  The scenes between Coogan and his wife aren’t very funny and kinda gum up the works.  Even though the laughs get fairly sparse during the middle section of the film, you probably won’t care by the time the cast starts singing “Rock Me Sexy Jesus”. 

 

Coogan gets the best line of the movie when he remarks, “I feel like I’ve been raped... in the face!”

Tags: comedy, h, musical
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