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.

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Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies. After being hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, he proceeded to bounce between...

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