Sunday, August 10, 2008

Black Sheep Previews: HAMLET 2

HAMLET 2. The concept is hilarious. Didn't everyone die at the end of Shakespeare's timeless classic, you might ask. Well, yes, they did. It was a tragedy, after all. No matter though as this is not exactly a sequel to the bard's work. Nor is it a sequel to the Mel Gibson or Ethan Hawke film versions from recent years. In fact, it is not a sequel at all. The name, HAMLET 2, refers to a musical that is to be performed, and from the looks of the previews, performed very badly, by the hopeful high school students of a Tucson drama club.

HAMLET 2 stars British actor/comedian, Steve Coogan, as a washed up actor who has decided to turn lemons into lemonade by teaching the young about the craft. While this is all very noble, the underlying problem is that he is just as good at teaching as he was at acting, which is to say not at all. Coogan strives to be the kind of teacher that makes students stand up on desks and salute him or rip out pages from great literary classics to follow in his protest but he is far too deep into his own delusions to see that he is a complete mess. His swan song is to be this great musical but all he musters is controversy. I suppose he should have seen it coming with numbers like, "Rock Me Sexy Jesus."

The cast is rounded out by Catherine Keener, David Arquette and Elizabeth Shue (in a hilariously self-referential turn as herself in present day, having left the craziness of Hollywood and started a new life as a nurse at this Tucson school). The potential is in place and with Pam Brady, co-writer of TEAM AMERICA and the SOUTH PARK movie assisting writer/director, Andrew Fleming, the possibility for laugh out loud hilarity is even greater. Who knows? If it does real well, we could be seeing HAMLET 3 before you know it.

HAMLET 2 is in theatres August 22.

Click here or any of the links above to see "Rock Me Sexy, Jesus" and the HAMLET 2 trailer.


rob said...

Wow. Comprehensive. Sometimes I feel like a washed-up screenwriter that sold his dream for weekly paycheck. Wait a minute... I don't even get a weekly paycheque!

Matt Belanger said...

This sounds awesome. Except for the part where Courtney Cox' husband is in it. That guy doesn't even deserve to be mentioned by name.