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Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Hamlet 2”

(Focus Features. 1 hour, 34 minutes. R for language including sexual references, brief nudity and some drug content. Directed byAndrew Fleming.) Steve Coogan (Dana Marschz), Catherine Keener (Brie Marschz), Joseph Julian Soria (Octavio), Skylar Astin (Rand Posin), Phoebe Strole (Epiphany Sellars), Melonie Diaz (Ivonne). Music by Ralph Sall.

Dana Marschz, a failed actor turned failing drama teacher in Tucson, AZ, tries to contend with the closing of his department by putting on his magnum opus/musical sequel, “Hamlet 2.” What follows is a witty but uneven parody of “uplifting teacher films” and gaudy musicals. Coogan, a Brit comedian who has been cropping up a lot recently, carries the movie pretty well, with baffled cluelessness and boundless, blind enthusiasm as his main tools. The supporting cast is strong, though underutilized. Keener, as Coogan’s fertility-obsessed wife, is delightfully nasty, and watch for an odd turn by Elisabeth Shue, playing a jaded, actor-turned-nurse version of herself. The humor is luckily more hit than miss, with a fair share of the brunt going towards Tucson itself (“where dreams go to die”). The “uplifting teacher” parody breaks down at the end when it becomes an uplifting teacher movie, but by then the unabashed silliness of the staging of “Hamlet 2” has stolen the movie. Inconsistent, but entertaining.

Jared Counts

Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

A UH alum, Jared Counts was hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, bouncing between departments until being hired full-time as a web developer in Febraury 2007. He currently manages the front- and back-end of this website (including the WordPress plugin that runs this staff directory), as well as...

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