I haven’t done Hamlet 2 before have I?? I’m pretty sure not so without further ado…
If the idea of a song entitled “Rock Me Sexy, Jesus” makes you squirm, don’t watch this movie. On the other hand, if the idea of that same song conjures up thoughts of a warped version of “Godspell”, then at the very least watch the last 20 minutes of this film. Or just watch this clip to get a taste!
“Hamlet 2” started out big and went nowhere. It sold for $10 million to Focus Features at Sundance in 2008, almost beating out the record set by “Little Miss Sunshine” (sold at $10.5 million). Unfortunately, “Hamlet 2” brought in roughly less than half of what it was sold for. It just goes to prove that even if you’re quirky, that doesn’t always equal success.
It’s also unfortunate that it’s not hard to see why “Hamlet 2” did so poorly. Part of it was the hype and the nifty trailers which made the film out to be THE NEXT BIG THING, ergo when people actually watched it, they were more disappointed than if there’d been no hype. Basically it’s two hours of nothing. Now there have been movies that have done nothing well (for example “Empire Records”). But Hamlet 2 failed in its quest. It’s not all bad though.
Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan) is a failed actor turned high school drama teacher who still dreams of hitting the big time. Instead he’s stuck in a dead end town where a total of two students take his class. To satisfy his “creativity”, Marschz stages two person play of movies (such as “Erin Brokavich”). To add to his lackluster life, he is also tormented by a theater reviewer, who appears to be about 9 years old. Doesn’t get much worse than this, folks. Then comes the day when Marschz comes to work only to find his class filled to the brim with students! The movie takes a “Dangerous Minds” turn (in a WAY less serious and dramatic way) and with the school threatening to take away his class (his one reason for living), Marschz writes, directs and produces “Hamlet 2”.
So where’s the bad? Part of it is the awkwardness of the movie. It’s not cute awkward like Michael Cera, it’s at times uncomfortably awkward. Scenes drag and you find yourself checking your watch to see how much time has passed only to find that it’s been 10 seconds since you last checked.
And where’s the good? Well, David Arquette has a role where he speaks approximately 10 words. Elisabeth Shue is hilarious as herself. And obviously the best part of all is the staging of “Hamlet 2”, featuring “Rock Me Sexy, Jesus”. It’s a rockin’, irreverent good time!
Up to you, dear reader, which way you’d like to go with this one. It’s no “Terror Toons” but it’s no “Little Miss Sunshine” either.