A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A teacher swears in front of his students and accidentally hurts one of them; they clearly show no respect for him (they call him "moron," among other things). His wife belittles him, too. But he doesn't give up hope. In fact, in his own blissfully ignorant way, he manages to inspire and free his inner artist. The movie mercilessly mocks everything from the theater crowd to religion. Infidelity is treated humorously.
Violence & Scariness
A man contemplates suicide; some brawls erupt; a girl keeps falling and getting hit by objects.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Conversations about the mechanics of getting pregnant, some kissing, lewd jokes. A man's naked backside is flashed -- he has writer's block and takes off his pants to get inspiration -- and there are allusions to his "balls" being flashed.
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Language includes plenty of salty words, including "s--t" and "f--k." Not as frequent as some other R-rated movies, though.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens drink while out with their teacher; they later spike his non-alcoholic beverage with LSD or another psychedelic; his wife drinks a gigantic margarita.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this comedy is set in high school, it's not really a "teen comedy." In fact, it takes a no-holds-barred approach to poking fun at religion, theater, commercialism, racism, reproductive technologies, actors, the ACLU, and anything and everything else. One song is centered on a "rock star" version of Jesus, and there are plenty of jokes that some people may consider crude or vulgar. There are also scenes of underage drinking and drug use, a flash of a man's naked backside, and plenty of salty language. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Loaded with ideas -- some amusing, some daring -- HAMLET 2 (which premiered at Sundance) is a cheeky comedy that doesn't quite hits its mark. On paper, it feels like it should be a walk in the park -- or, rather, South Park, on which one of Hamlet 2's co-writers worked. But although it pushes the envelope, humor-wise, it feels like a Christopher Guest movie without the spark. The ensemble fails to vibe on each other's wackiness, and their eccentricities feel contrived.
Which isn't to say that the movie doesn't have some entertaining moments. A cameo by Elisabeth Shue is especially satisfying, as is Amy Poehler's role, and the students are more than watchable. But for a film this out-there to really work, everyone has to feel committed to the insanity -- and, apart from Coogan, they just don't seem so. That said, when Marschz's musical finally gets its moment under the lights, it feels bizarrely, hilariously transcendent.
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Our Editors Recommend
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