Hamlet 2


Andrew says:

It seemed as if the cruel bitch named Fate stacked the cards against me when it came to this movie. From the get go, it was set up for destruction. A minuscule theater with cramped seating that wouldn’t accept credit cards mixed with my bumbling entrance to a movie that was already at least five minutes in.  Furthermore, the beginning of the movie was horribly dry. Humor seemed to slip under the radar as the action played our more as a melodrama than an actual comedy film.

But it was not long before Hamlet 2 kicked it up a notch.

Switching up beat in gears, the failing drama professor played by Steve Coogan is greeted by two of his White-Anglo Saxon Protestant student outside the Cafeteria (which doubles as the drama room). After noting the sudden influx of problem, Mexican students, the female comments, “I’ve been asking God to help me with diversity in my prayer group but I’m still not comfortable around this many ethnics”.  The tempo proceeded uphill from there. With a slurry of gut tickling comedy from Mexican jokes to Impotence cracks.

The addition of Elizabeth Shue was a brilliant piece of work. Considering most people aren’t even aware of who she is in the least bit. I remember seeing her in Hollow Man and, because of that, I wish I was invisible and alone with her in a testing laboratory.  Her performance in this was beautiful and unexpected, especially as the interest of Coogan. The casting of Catherine Kenner as Steve Coogan’s wife was a bit of a surprise. Especially since she played such an honest, caring and compassionate figure in 40 year old virgin. She really wasn’t believable in my personal opinion. There are much more conniving women that could have been cast in the role.

The coup’de’grai of the movie was decisively the actual performance of the play. All the stops were pulled out as the “controversial” acts were finally revealed. Including pieces such as “Raped in the Face” and “Rock me Sexy Jesus”. Not only were these presentations absolutely hilarious, they were actually catchy and visually delightful. My largest gripe, however, was that the presentation of the play was not longer and the movie seemed to get a bit rushed towards the end. For example, they resorted to an montage of play moments, skipped promised scenes (such as Cheney kissing Satan) and pushed forward plot elements that forced rapidity (the fire department). There is SO MUCH potential for comedy in musical format and I feel it could have been better capitalized upon.

Overall I would give this film a 80 out of 100. While the film was refreshing and a great burst of comedy, it was not optimized. A bit more forethought into presentation and casting would have gone a long way towards pushing this film into the A catagory from a B-.

Grade: 80

Schuyler says:

Izzy and I missed the first 12 minutes of this 90-minute film.

We were outside, trying to get money from a non-descript ATM. While she was battling the economic-machinery, I had found a tiny frog on the ground and was trying to catch it. After a few attempts, I caught the little gradpole and named him Tompkins or Potiphar. He jumped around in my hands a whole lot and was really cute. When we arrived at the movie theatre door, the realization that I would have to sacrifice Tompkins/Potiphar hit me like a bullet. My heart sank as I lowered my cupped hands to the ground, and regretfully let Tompkins/Potiphar go. He didn’t even really want to leave the Townhouse Suite that was my hands. I should’ve realized he would’ve demonstrated loyalty…all the good times, and the hard times…

Anyway, we missed 12 minutes of film. The 12 minutes missed ultimately didn’t impact our enjoyment of this film. Interpret that any way you like. This movie is very “light.” A lot of cheap jokes, a lot of deep jokes, and a lot of AWK (if you’re unsure what AWK means, read some of my high school English papers). Steve Coogan plays your run-of-the-mill failed-actor-turned-high-school-drama-teacher. Yaddah yaddah yaddah…school has no money…blah blah blah…conservative school board cutting arts programs. LL Coogan and the gang (which consists of 2 cracka theater nuts + the cast of Dangerous Minds and 187) have to save the Drama program by doing something Coogan’s character, Dana Somethingorother, has never done: produce a hit! Coogan drinks heavily and as a result writes Hamlet 2, his own masterpiece. The school tries to shut down the performance of the play because it is filled with controversial topics such as the devil making out with the president, Jesus being a sexy biotch, and the maiming of Shakespeare’s work. Amy Pohler (BC Alum!) comes in to save the day as the ACLU lawyer with a ‘tude. In the end, the students rally around Coogan and put on a play the likes of which hasn’t been seen since…well, Jesus Christ Superstar.
To keep this brief…

Things I liked:
–Coogan is emerging as a media icon comparable to Seth Rogan. If Brits and Canucks keep stealing all the media jobs, we’ll have to ban their immigration to the USA. Sorry Beckham, but I gots to go to Hollywood.

–Cheap “Hispanic” jokes. Now that I’m an adult, I’m going to make a conscious effort not to say potty words that might get me in trouble, even in gest, on this website. You guys know the racist stereotypical words I’m thinking of though. It’s funny, not offensive, I promise. Just see the danged movie.

–Elisabeth Shue playing herself. Okay, Elisabeth Shue was always the hotter, cheaper version of Leah Thompson. She has aged GRACEFULLY and plays actor-wantaway…Elisabeth Shue. She’s a Tucson Nurse, but slowly becomes impressed with Coogan’s crazy enthusiasm. I just LOVE Shue. Well thank Shue. I love Shue, too. Oh…Shue welcome.
Things I didn’t like:
–The fact that a lot of the back-story was a straight up rip-off of Dangerous Minds. They even mentioned in the film that it was a ripoff of Dangerous Minds. C’mon Coogan. Apply pressure on your writers. They’re getting paid more than slave wages now. Make them earn their supper.

–That woman from 40 Year Old Virgin plays Steve Coogan’s mean, alcoholic, cheating wife. She’s such a NICE person in 4YOV! How was she cast in this role? I think it’s a bit of a mis-cast. You need someone meaner. Someone more likely to be a harlotous jezebel.

–Missing 1/6 of the film.

Things I was bi-curious about:

–Before getting roles in Tristram Shandy and Tropic Thunder…what else has Steve Coogan BEEN in? This guy is not a start-up actor. He’s definitely approx. 35-45 years old. Where has he been?

–Could a guy like me REALLY end up with Elisabeth Shue?

–Do any of you know Elisabeth Shue?

–What’s her phone number?

–It’s okay, I promise I won’t make it awkward.

–Well if you know it…why won’t you give it to me.

–No I swear…it’s cool…


– ::Gun shots::

– Um…That’s it. I have to run, but I loved the film-movie.

Grade: 84

Average Grade: 82


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