Hamlet 2

Director: Andrew Fleming
Year Released: 2008
Rating: 0.5

Flamboyant failure Steve Coogan (looking like Tiny Tim … only taller, of course), a high school drama teacher, writes a risqué sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet in order to save the funding for the drama department (and redeem himself) but the play's subject matter (which includes blasphemy, sexual overtones and foul language) gets him killed out of school. It's intended to be a mockery of the Disney-fied High School Musical fad but the attempt at bawdy humor is desperate and more often than not embarrassing: not only does the musical-within-the-movie have very little to do with Hamlet, but the 'show-stopper' is a lame-ass song about Jesus' apparent sexiness and preference for wife-beaters and jeans. Has a brief moment of inspiration by casting Elisabeth Shue as "herself," then does nothing with her character. Coogan, it seems, is better suited for dry, witty roles than this Will Ferrell-type performance - to me, his finest moment is when he screams at his cat. My normal level of suspension of disbelief was tested more than usual - Coogan the teacher commits so many indiscretions in the school that if this were reality he would have been arrested no less than twenty minutes into the movie.