(Regular DHD readers know I don’t do geek. But frequent LA Weekly film reviewer and comic book expert Luke Y Thompson does. He spends all year waiting for Comic-Con and this time he’s covering it for me. Here’s his latest report.)
Now, when it comes to movies not really appropriate to the Con, there’s HAMLET 2. A comedy from Andrew Fleming (DICK) about a despondent high school drama teacher prone to staging pathetic stage interpretations of big-budget movies like ERIN BROCKOVICH, he’s driven to the edge when drama is cancelled, and decides to go out in a blaze of glory with an original work, the titular seuel, which is a musical that involves Jesus using a time machine to save Hamlet.
One of the musical numbers is called “Rock Me Sexy Jesus,” and that angle is being pushed hard here, with various Sexy Jesuses walking around in costume, presumably looking to appeal to fans of DOGMA or SOUTH PARK (co-writer Pam Brady is also a SOUTH PARK writer). Had this been a cartoon, perhaps it would have a better shot. But the problem is that it doesn’t commit to its cartoonishness. Though Fleming and Brady talk a lot about grounding it in reality, Coogan’s character is a walking Saturday Night Live skit. The kids he mentors are very real, but it’s impossible to care much about their moronic maestro. With that said, there are moments that are laugh-out-loud funny, notably any time Coogan straps on roller skates, but the movie also wants to have heart, and it doesn’t, much.
Plus, I liked the concept better when it was called THE PRODUCERS.