"Chuy, you're going to have a magical life. Because no matter where you go, it's always going to be better than Tucson."
- Dana Marschz (Steve Coogan)
At a glance:
The laughs are almost non-existent, but the final staged play is entertaining, as the usually very funny Steve Coogan overextends himself in a starring role as a high school drama teacher
A struggling high school drama teacher (Steve Coogan) is told that budget cuts mean that his beloved drama department will close – forever – at the end of the semester. His only chance is to produce a play that will change people’s minds. He hand-picks and writes a sequel to Hamlet (aptly titled Hamlet 2) and uses a motley crew of students to play the parts. Coogan milks every soliloquy, dragging out his comic speeches without actually saying or doing anything amusing (unless, perhaps, you are one of his dedicated fans). It’s a shame, really, because Coogan is usually very funny in smaller roles, but here, the writing, and perhaps his ability to convey a range of emotions with sincerity, lets him down. The film is almost devoid of laughs, and yet, because it just doesn’t seem to care about that, it remains captivating and impossible to look away. The play itself is very entertaining, with production values well outside the scope of most struggling high school drama departments.
Other reviewers said:
"Coogan is a master at playing jerks, but Dana is too silly, too stupid, and too unappealing to enlist us on his side."
- Andy Klein (Los Angeles CityBeat)
"Oddly, what's supposed to be a great comedy about a bad play is in fact a bad comedy about a play that looks pretty frigging amazing."
- Amy Nicholson (I.E. Weekly)
"Witless spoof on Hamlet that is more irritating than funny."
- Dennis Schwartz (Ozus' World Movie Reviews)