Comments on watching and making films.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hamlet 2

Steve Coogan has really been picking his roles well in the last few years. Not that he wasn't before, but it seems like he's really broken out here in the States, just in the last few years. For Hamlet 2, Coogan has partnered up with writer/producer Pam Brady (who has written the South Park film, several of the episodes, as well as Team America, and the short lived Kid Notorious), to make a film that is hilarious and endearing, and not quite as shocking as I was expecting.

In Hamlet 2, Coogan plays Dana Marschz, a washed up, never was actor living in Tucson, and teaching an acting class that only has two students. He puts on a play every semester that is based on a Hollywood film (Erin Brockovich, for instance), but his life gets turned  upside down when, after an accident at another school, a huge group of kids get reassigned to his school and his program, right as the school board is making the decision to cancel drama all together. In order to save his class, Marschz has to write an original play, something so amazing, that he is destined to convince the town's people that the program he teaches is worth saving.

I didn't think Hamlet 2 was as irreverent as they were making it out to be. I mean, when you use "From the writer of South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut" , as one of the tags during the trailer, you present a certain amount of expectation. I though the South Park film and Team America were considerably funnier and more irreverent. That being said, Hamlet 2 still has a ton of laugh out loud moments to it, especially in the Elisabeth Shue subplot. I loved the fact that she was playing herself, and I loved the fact that she was getting more laughs out of the play than anyone else was. The personal life aspect of it, though, fell a little flat for me, at times, though I did understand the necessity of it. Both Catherine Keener and David Arquette have the ability to be so much funnier than they were, and maybe that was the point, but I still would have like to see a little bit of the humor thrown their way. Coogan plays the moronic Dana Marschz incredibly well, and his comic timing is what really makes this film thrive. The only performance I was kind of let down by was Amy Poehler's, and I think its more of a writing issue than anything. Her part just wasn't very funny, and, honestly, I have come to expect a lot more out of her in the last couple of years. She's a really funny woman, and her part seemed sort of tame.

No comments: