Parents' Guide to

Hamlet 2

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

High school theater spoof lacks some spark.

Movie R 2008 92 minutes
Hamlet 2 Poster Image

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Kids say (3 ):

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.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 22, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming: December 22, 2008
  • Cast: Catherine Keener , David Arquette , Steve Coogan
  • Director: Andrew Fleming
  • Inclusion Information: Middle Eastern/North African actors
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 92 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language including sexual references, brief nudity and some drug content.
  • Last updated: February 27, 2023

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