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3.6 out of 5 stars
22
3.6 out of 5 stars
Hamlet 2 [DVD]
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on 17 May 2017
Hamlet 2 is a comedy movie that presents the sentiment of 'Forgive & Forget'.
The theme of the movie is how we deal with unresolved childhood issues with our parents, when these issues confront us in adult life.
The movie humorously asks the viewer to consider 2 things:
1. How different things would be if Hamlet had forgiven his father's murderer right from the beginning - would it have made such an interesting impact on books, education, the movies, stage plays, and tv? Would we even know who William Shakespeare is today, as there have been many actors, authors and movies who names have been relegated to archives never to be remembered unless someone puts together a documentary about them.
2. Whether Jesus forgave his Father for the abandonment on the cross. His pain is duly noted, but no word of forgiveness from Jesus to his Father is actually stated. Forgiveness is assumed and deemed not an issue to Jesus due to his position as The Christ, as the Son of God. Forgiveness is also deemed not an issue to Jesus due to his death on the cross, but in reality most children who feel abandoned and/or betrayed by one parent or two or by a carer and/or trusted family member, be it male or female, develop serious psychological issues in later life.

The Devil plays his part too. In a bizarre paradox twist to the storyline driving the forgiveness message home, Satan is reminding
folks that he'd be out of a job and unemployed if everybody was To Be Or Not To Be, what they're 'supposed' to do or not supposed to have.

The 2 in the movie title indicates that the controversy of a more thought provoking Hamlet/Jesus/Satan combined, only lasts 2 Minutes of the of the full movie and is within the last 20 minutes or so of the movie - Shame! That's not enough controversy for me.
The rest of the movie is utter nonsense in it's build up to this rather unusual version of Hamlet.
It does however, raise some interesting points about the education system and stereotypes.
!. The Arts - whatever genre of The Arts, always suffers, in more ways than one whenever the budget is limited - especially if it's not a curriculum that studies 'The Classics'.
2. Class, culture, education, religious stereotypes - where do you stand? What did you assume from watching the movie?

Although not controversial or entwined, similarly in the 1942 wartime American comedy movie, 'To Be Or Not To Be' set in occupied Poland, starring Carole Lombard and Jack Benny, the writers: Melchior Lengyel and Edwin Justus Mayer, use a plot irony to emerge Hamlet and Hitler as heroes of the Polish Resistance and it's English Allies. The plot uses the theatrics of a theatre company to create and stage a diversion against a German spy and against Germany receiving any information from the spy.

There was a remake of 'To Be Or Not To Be' in 1983 starring Mel brooks and Anne Bancroft. The plot remains the same, but there are some scene changes.

Both Hamlet 2 and To Be Or Not To Be centre around a main plot that incorporates 2 minutes or less of Hamlet's time.
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on 25 July 2017
A small little gem of a comedy. Not the funniest but with it just for Steve Coogan's great central performance and some really funny songs at the end
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on 1 May 2017
Very funny indeed. Hamlet 3 has surely got to be on its way!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 6 October 2009
"Hamlet 2" is a film split between heading in two directions.

The best sections are where Steve Coogan (putting aside his questionable American accent) plays a failed actor in the middle of a nervous breakdown, with endless issues and immature reactions to problems leading to some great farce. It's a comedy about censorship, controversy and freedom of speech, but most importantly in parts it's really funny. If "Team America World Police" and "Jerry Springer The Opera" are things you like, put this on your list.

Then on the other hand it also tries too hard to be a 'feelgood' movie. It panders a little too much to its potential critics (ironic given what the story's supposed to be about) and stops short of causing any real offence the way something like a South Park movie does. It's an angry satire with its nails clipped. There are just a few too many slapstick pratfalls and not quite enough gags.

That said it's worth spending 80 minutes on just for some of the performances. Steve Coogan as always does a great job. Amy Poehler has a star turn as the letigious lawyer constantly looking to sue everyone and Catherine Keener is a great comedy alcoholic.

Not perfect, a little too soft in parts, but pretty funny.
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on 13 August 2013
It took me a wee while to get the jist of it. As it went on, I found it quite alright.
A Li'l weird, but entertaining. Found some parts funny and some where not. I would
recomend this to anyone who is a Coogan fan.
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on 29 March 2010
...seriously.

This film totally passed me by - it didn't even register on my radar. But I've just finished watching it, literally about 2 minutes ago, and I enjoyed it so much that I felt compelled to fight its corner in these reviews.
It is a sorely, sorely underrated film. On the strengths of the reviews here I wouldn't normally have bothered watching it - just another straight to DVD also-ran. But seriously, and please take my word for this now, it IS A GOOD FILM. It's a satire; it is spoofing all of those saccharin-soaked inspirational mush-fests that Hollywood holds so dearly to its bosom, and it does it well. Don't expect a slapstick gag-fest, nor a Partridge-esque cringe marathon, nor a contemporary re-working of Shakespeare; Coogan is not the star of the show - the show is.
It IS clever, it IS witty, it IS sharp, but in a very subtle way. Just look at Elisabeth Shue's appearance - an actress who has a reputation for pursuing the role-less-travelled - she is playing herself, parodying herself, and sticking a satirical elbow in the belly of the beast that feeds her.
This is a woefully overlooked film and one that I would recommend whole-heartedly... plus, it's less that a fiver for crying out loud. What've you got to lose!?!

Watch it!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 May 2012
The idea is a fair one but this first Steve Coogan headlining Hollywood vehicle is almost mis-titled. It should be more like 'Dopey high-school drama teacher attempts to put on a school play', but that's not as snappy and certainly wouldn't have the literates and lovers of the Bard double-checking it.

It's not actually THAT bad but as we know Coogan in his more successful and endearing characters, obviously we're going to compare. His accent is uncomfortably thick, if sounding authentic and he just comes across as that worse, embarrassingly nerdy teacher that we all used to love to hate. That was most probably the intention, though but that doesn't really help.

Actually, his scenes with wife/partner Katherine Keener almost work best, with their fertility "problems". The kids in school are often not that believable, reacting differently to what's expected. There's almost a parody on films by the likes of Alan Parker, the ones where a mixed ethnic high school has its drama budget completely removed and then it's 'Let's put on a Musical!!'

There's some funnier comedy when recovering alcoholic Dana Marschz (Coogan) falls off the wagon and goes amok. But his constant pratfalls get wearisome and when that extends to vocal ones, those are painful.

Finally, the play goes ahead and this bit comes across quite well, with Coogan as Christ on a rope and this raises my score from 2 to 2.4, but I'm afraid I cannot extend to three.

Hamlet, whether 2 or 52, it never is. Take it as it actually is and it stands a better chance.
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on 15 October 2011
I love shakespeare's Hamlet. Tongue in cheek and a pinch of salt are needed to appreciate the comic value of this film but once you get there is is a true joy and pleasure for when life gets too serious. Steve Coogan does do a terrible accent but its funny. The film is ridiculous and absurd but so are the "teacher saves the latino/black/poor/ignorant pupils" that this film is sending up in the first place. The students in this film save the teacher.
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on 31 August 2013
Cast, writer and concept promised at least a passable standard the film couldn't deliver. Coogan is good value, the rest almost entirely blows
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on 22 January 2009
This is one of those really good movies that go largely unnoticed every year. If you watch this and don't end up with a big grinning smile on your face, there's something seriously wrong with you!

Clever and well-written dialogues, wacky song lyrics (although this is NOT a musical) and a great cast, from Steve Coogan in the lead to the young actors who play the students' roles. Oh, and two of the sexiest actresses EVER, Elizabeth Shue and Catherine Keener.
Great stuff!
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