Archives / 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Hamlet 2

Director: Andrew Fleming

Screenwriters: Pam Brady, Andrew Fleming

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Hamlet 2 is a late addition to the Premiere lineup for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, but who could resist a hilarious new film that features the incredible talents of British comic actor Steve Coogan. Even in rough cut, it was clear that all the elements were present to make the world premiere at Sundance a moment to remember. Lucky audiences will unearth a comedic gem and in turn discover a very talented director in Andy Fleming.

The film is mostly set in a high school, and there are musical numbers, but any resemblance to the High School Musical franchise stops here. Irreverently zany and at times pushing the envelope of political correctness to its max, Fleming steers an all-star cast that ricochets easily between delicious dialogue and insane situations. He is not afraid of a few sight gags, either.

The plot revolves around an ex-actor, ex-user, relentless dreamer, and sometimes-delusional high school teacher played by Coogan. He has just mounted one of his infamous screen-to-stage productions—this time it’s Erin Brockovich—but the reviews aren’t all that he hoped for. When his students rebel and his job is threatened by budget cuts, he is forced to kick ambition into high gear and shoot for his ultimate dream: staging an original production of Hamlet 2, a sequel to Shakespeare’s classic. Enough for setup?—let’s just say the film takes many a twist and turn, and the finale is definitely worth the wait.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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