S.G. Browne

Movie Review Monday: Hamlet 2

You know those inspirational teacher movies?  The ones like Stand and Deliver, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and Dead Poets Society?

“Oh Captain, my Captain.”

And who can forget Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds?

Well, Hamlet 2 is nothing like any of them because it doesn’t take itself seriously.  Instead, it makes fun of the inspirational teacher films in a fun, twisted way that combines social satire with the irreverence of South Park and includes catchy, toe-tapping musical numbers like “Rock Me Sexy Jesus.”

Hamlet 2 tells the story of Dana Marschz (played by Steve Coogan), a failed actor and recovering alcoholic who teaches high school drama in Tucson, AZ, where, according to the voice over, “dreams go to die.”

Marschz, who puts on bad plays based on award-winning films, finds his unpopular drama class suddenly attended by a collection of slackers who only took his class because all of the other cool electives got axed in budget cuts.  When his job is threatened by the same budget crisis, Marschz tries to inspire his students, save his job, and work out long-standing emotional issues about his father by writing and producing an original musical play: a sequel to Hamlet that includes time travel, controversial sexual content, and Jesus Christ.

Also starring Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler,  David Arquette,  and Elisabeth Shue as herself, Hamlet 2 makes fun of religion, gays, Latinos, Hollywood, high school, the ACLU, and Elisabeth Shue, among other things.

So if you enjoy social satires and you don’t take your beliefs too seriously, then I think you’ll have a lot of fun with this one.  But if you’re easily offended by jokes about Jesus, minorities, or by seeing Steve Coogan’s bare ass, then you might want to think about giving this one a pass.

Hey, poetry!

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Filed under: Movie Review Mondays,Movies and Books — Tags: — S.G. Browne @ 7:02 am

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