By: Aaron Shay
Sometimes, when one digs through the dung pile long enough, a nugget of gold can be found.Â This is the only way to describe the experience of watching Hamlet 2.
The story: Failed actor Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) has taken up the job of a stereotypical drama teacher in Tucson, Arizona, a land of drive-thru liquor stores and large Mexican populations.Â Vaguely described complications enlarge his drama class of normally two students to about twenty, 18 of them being Latino â€œjocksâ€ and/or stoners.Â After being notified that drama was about to be canceled, Marschz decided to write a play that will save the
class.Â That play is Hamlet 2, an idea offensive to theatre aficionados, with such sexual/political/spiritual content to offend anyone else.Â Wackiness ensues. department
The movie is divided into five acts, the first four of which are unfunny and poorly written.Â Many events seem to be isolated and have no effect or root in any of the others, such as the poorly communicated subplot of Epiphany Sellars, played be the adorable but not funny Phoebe Strole, falling in love with one of the Latino boys, though which Latino boy it was, I couldnâ€™t say.Â It happened so fast that I could barely register it.Â I think his name was Chuy.
The last act, however, is majestic.Â The parts of the offensive play that they showed on screen were really quite moving.Â The song â€œRock Me Sexy Jesusâ€ was significantly more entertaining and catchy than I thought it would be. However, I know that if I had actually watched the alluded-to scene with Hillary Clinton, Hamlet and others engaging in group sex, I would have enjoyed it much less.
There were moments when I thought, â€œJeez, how were they planning to put this on in the school snackatorium,â€ but by that time I was so bruised by the lack of sense in the film that I stopped caring and enjoyed it.
Also, the poster is extremely misleading.Â Trey Parker and Matt Stone had nothing to do with this movie.Â That explained the noticeable lack of Parker and Stoneâ€™s signature and smart social commentary.Â Thereâ€™s a nice little bit about the ACLU, though.Â That part was almost funny,
Ultimately, I felt no affinity for most of the characters in this movie.Â The plot points were poorly placed.Â At least 75% of the gags fell flat on their face. The relationships that developed didnâ€™t make any sense.Â And why did the students want to do this play at all?Â Why?Â There was nothing in the script that explained this.Â Nothing.Â One moment theyâ€™re uninterested and aloof, the next, theyâ€™re pulling some serious Dead Poet Society malarkey.
Could have been great, settled for okay, reviewed by me as a little less than horrible.
As my friend Ira said, â€œSome parts where really great, but a lot of it was [beep!]ing terrible.â€
Aaron J. shay says
Also, there is already a sequel to Hamlet, and no one was particularly offended by it. I thought it was pretty good. It’s called “Fortinbras” by Lee Blessing.