Watch Hamlet 2
- 1 hr 31 min
Hamlet 2 is a 2008 comedy film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Steve Coogan, Elisabeth Shue, and Catherine Keener. The premise of the movie is that a failed actor and down-on-his-luck high school drama teacher, Dana Marschz (Coogan), is tasked with saving his schoolâs drama program. However, instead of just putting on a traditional play, he decides he wants to write and produce a sequel to Shakespeareâs Hamlet.
The movie opens with a montage of clips from various failed projects Dana has been involved in such as a herpes commercial and an infomercial for mock turtlenecks. After losing his commercial actor job, Dana moves to Tucson, Arizona with his supportive wife, Brie (Keener). He lands a job teaching drama at a high school with virtually no budget for the program. When attendance drops off and the school principal (Marshall Bell) threatens to shut the program down, Dana decides to write a sequel to Hamlet, titled âHamlet 2â.
The rest of the movie follows Danaâs quest to actualize his vision, which is filled with numerous obstacles including a lack of funding, creative differences between his students and himself, and protesters who find the play offensive. Still, Dana manages to recruit his students and they start rehearsing for the play, while he navigates complex interpersonal relationships with fellow teachers and his wife.
Elisabeth Shue plays herself in this film and becomes a surprisingly pivotal character in the plot. She plays a waitress at a fertility clinic; Dana cast her in his play as a time-traveling nurse who appears to help Hamlet travel to other plotlines from the Shakespearean oeuvre. But her involvement in the play is only a small part of her influence on the plot. Her character functions more as a mirror, reflecting Danaâs distorted sense of self-importance and theatre grandeur.
The film is a layered satire that pokes fun at everything from Hollywood excesses to the âismsâ of traditional theatre. At its core, though, Hamlet 2 is a heartwarming story of one manâs unflagging dedication to his passion, and the unexpected relationships that grow from it. The climax of the movie is the actual performance of the play, which is a raunchy, irreverent comedy with musical numbers, and a physical battle royale. The final scene of the play is one of the most memorable from the movie, as it involves a song and dance number in which Jesus Christ and other mythical characters join the cast onstage.
One of the most refreshing elements of the movie is the way that it explores the role of art in the eyes of society. Dana is a redundant and ineffective theatre teacher, but he ultimately inspires a group of disinterested students to grow both in their creative and personal lives, bringing them together in a way that could only have happened through theatre. In a way, Hamlet 2âs commentary on the practical value of art rings true in our current times, as government funding for the arts continues to shrink.
Overall, Hamlet 2 is a witty, unapologetic satire of the theatre and the culture that surrounds it. While the movie may not be for everyone, those that appreciate a uniquely dark sense of humour, clever dialogue, and a willingness to embrace artistic originality will be thoroughly entertained. The film is highlighted by strong performances from Steve Coogan, Elisabeth Shue, and Catherine Keener, who give their all in making the bizarre story come to life. Hamlet 2 is a must-watch for anyone who is passionate about art and the importance of chasing dreams despite the obstacles that come in the way.
Hamlet 2 is a 2008 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 54.