Friday, August 29, 2008
Movie Reviews: HAMLET 2
In the irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama teacher (Steve Coogan) rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages a politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Cast: Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener, David Arquette, Marshall Bell, Melonie Diaz
Director: Andrew Fleming
Opened August 22, 2008
Runtime: 1 hr. 32 min.
Rated R for language including sexual references, brief nudity and some drug
Hamlet 2 is an uneven but sometime inspired absurdist comedy that
keeps you waiting for it to hit its stride but never does. Director Andrew Fleming does a good job of keeping a brisk pace throughout but that doesn't keep the film from lagging, mainly because of misses on the comedic end. Steve Coogan turns in a fun performance even if he over do it on a few occasions. Coogan give his loser actor a sense of contained lunacy mixed with naivety and aloofness. It's pretty much his show from start to finish and the result is uneven much like the entire movie. Supporting turns from a variety of actors and actress help Hamlet 2 even if they weren't used to their fullest potential. Catherine Keener is superbly venomous as Coogan's on screen wife, she really shows off her comedic timing in delivering some really funny and terribly mean spirited dialogue. Elizabeth Shue has a fun little cameo as herself. She's given up acting, which she was only interested in because she liked making out with her co stars, and works at a sperm bank. Shue has fun with the small amount of screen time she has but, like Keener's character, I wish we saw a lot more her. By the time the film reaches its climax, Hamlet 2 the stage play is a great send up of the cutting edge broadway shows excess and the reaction they cause, it's delivered enough laughs to make the experience worthwhile but the promise of the concept isn't fully realized even if you do leave humming the strangely catchy Rock Me Sexy Jesus.