It is stupid, but it’s also theater.” For anyone with first hand experience, truer words may never be spoken about life on the stage. They are the inspirational words of Dana Marschz (pretentiously pronounced Mars-chhh-zzz) an over-the-top drama teacher in the low budget comedy, Hamlet 2.
Brilliant British comedian, Steve Coogan, plays Marschz, whose performance single handedly saves Hamlet 2 from mediocrity. The movie is a mixed bag – treading between peaks and valleys. In its peaks, it is clever and amusing, but its valleys are offensively lame and dull.
Early in the film, we get the backstory of Marschz a struggling actor whose resume consisted of herpes medication commercials and late night infomercials for juicers.
His career(if you could call it that) has flat lined and he is now left to teach drama in an Arizona high school.
After poor reviews of his plays, most notably a stage production of the movie Erin Brockovich, the school decides to drop drama from the curriculum for budgetary reasons. So the flamboyantly peculiar Marschz must write his own play to save the theater program.
Enter Hamlet 2- yes, a sequel to a play where EVERYONE dies at the end. But don’t worry Marschz has used this little insignificant detail to be more creative.
For his play, he writes in a time machine, where Jesus, Einstein, Hilary Clinton, and, of course, Hamlet go back in time to save everyone. The play is a mix of many contradictions: it is bizarre, absurd, strangely genius, and without a doubt the most politically incorrect show ever preformed in live theater.
Hamlet 2 the movie could’ve definitely used more of Hamlet 2 the play, which only makes up the final quarter of the movie. That is where all the edginess of the film takes place. We see the agenda against people being uptight about religion, politics, sex, and race, and we see that grey area between art and peculiar.
The movie needed more of that, and it needed more Coogan- but for those last 20 minutes, and for seeing first hand a man on the top of his craft perform. Hamlet 2 is certainly worth a look. However, it might be a better investment as a Netflix rental.