We have all heard the old saying of "Those who can’t do teach," which in my opinion is quite ridiculous, but in the movie "Hamlet 2," it’s very accurate.
The wonderful Steve Coogan plays the hapless Dana Marschz, a failed actor whose credits include being gored in "Xena: Warrior Princess," and a herpes outbreak commercial.
Finding no greater roles available to him, he heads out to Tucson, Ariz. with his wife (Catherine Kenner) who hates him, to take a position in the drama department at a local public high school.
Since drama is an elective, he only has two students, the discriminating Epiphany (Phoebe Strole) and sexually confused Rand (Skylar Astin). However, having a small class doesn’t deter him from writing them the lead parts in plays based upon the movies "Mississippi Burning" and "Erin Brockovich," which are promptly shredded in the school newspaper by ninth grade terror writer Noah Sapperstein (Shea Pepe).
Things change when a popular class is dropped and all the Latinos in the school choose to take drama. Dana Marschz sees this as his opportunity to reach out and be an inspiring teacher to the troubled youth a la Michelle Pfeiffer in "Dangerous Minds."
Unfortunately, between having fertility issues with his wife, and struggling to write a play for his new students, he is informed the school is cutting the drama department, and the principal couldn’t be happier to see Mr. Marschz go.
After being slipped acid into a drink by his students, Marschz goes on a writing kick and comes up with "Hamlet 2" for his final school swan song. He couldn’t understand why the characters in the Shakespearian tragedy had to suffer, so he came up with an idea to send the Great Dane into a time machine to travel back and save everyone, including his Ophelia, and let him forgive his father. Major father issues in this movie, by the way.
It must have been the drug induced writing, but somehow he puts Jesus into the "Hamlet 2" musical and writes the song "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus" which causes all sorts of panic in the town and gets the attention of the ACLU and the New York Times.
It’s just a shame that the self-titled "worst play ever" is the best thing about this movie. "Hamlet 2" has some extremely funny parts (Act three was my favorite because it resonates with everyone who has ever struggled to write something), but it’s very hit and miss. It should have been great, especially with the song "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus" which has been stuck in my head for two weeks, but it falls just a bit short despite the efforts of the loveable Coogan, who steals both the play and the movie.
I gave this film a C.
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.