The 2008 comedy film ''Hamlet 2'' stars Steve Coogan as high school drama teacher Dana Marschz, a recovering alcoholic and failed actor who has earned a reputation for his poor adaptations of famous films (rather than his ability to teach anyone anything). At the start of the most recent semester, Dana learns two sobering facts: the school has cut its budget to the point where his drama program remains the only arts class left in the curriculum, and his class will end up cut at the end of the semester.

Marschz -- now despondent over both the impending loss of his career and numerous other personal issues -- decides to go all out for his last big production in an attempt to save the program. He writes a "sequel" to the play ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' in the depths of his desperation; the "sequel" mixes time travel, Jesus Christ (played by Marschz himself), and the showstopping musical number "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" into the family drama of The Bard's famous play. When the school's administration realizes Marschz plans to put on the controversial play at the school, they order him to stop production.

While Marschz's students rally behind him and make plans to put the play on elsewhere, the school's cancellation of his play catches the attention of civil liberties lawyer Cricket Feldstein (Creator/AmyPoehler), who turns the issue into a fight for free speech (and makes the play a national story in the process). Her work in protecting Dana's rights soon attracts the attention of numerous other groups, all of whom plan to protest Marschz's one last chance at greatness.


!! ''Hamlet 2'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* AdamWesting: Elizabeth Shue quits show business to become a nurse.
* AdultFear: Your wife leaving you for your roommate because you're sterile and your job is taking you nowhere.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Rand
* AnachronismStew: [[RuleOfFunny Dana does this on purpose with "Hamlet 2".]]
* BoredomMontage: This gets coupled with the HardWorkMontage when Dana tries to write the play.
* BrickJoke: Dana said hearing the bad reviews for his production of ''Film/ErinBrockovich'' was like getting "raped in the face". This becomes a song.
* CaptainObvious: Gary
* TheChewToy: Yolanda gets injured in almost every scene where she appears onscreen.
* CreatorBreakdown: In-universe: While writing the play, Dana mangles together Christianity, ''Hamlet'', time travel, and his [[WellDoneSonGuy daddy issues]].
-->'''Dana''': ''What is your fucking problem man? Huh?'' [[note]]This is said to his pet cat.[[/note]]
* DeconstructedTrope: The film serves up a deconstruction of the SaveOurStudents trope (see that entry below).
* FantasyForbiddingFather: Subverted with Octavio. Dana goes to "the barrio" in order to try to convince his parents to let him be in the play, only to find that Octavio lives in a nice home, has a 3.9 GPA, and his parents object to the play not from principle, but from an artistic standpoint.
* FixFic: Dana turns "Hamlet 2" into one of these for the eponymous Hamlet, who [[spoiler:uses Jesus's time machine to prevent the deaths of his loved ones]].
* FreudianExcuse / FreudianSlip: At one point, Dana calls the principal "Daddy" and screams about how he never believed in him -- in the middle of a wholly different argument.
* FrivolousLawsuit: When Cricket gets knocked over at the play, she threatens to sue everyone.
* GiftedlyBad: The entire show comes off as this. [[spoiler:Dana eventually learns to accept it.]]
* GilliganCut: "We must ask, where do dreams go to die?" Cut to Tuscon, Arizona.
* ImGoingToHellForThis: One of the students remarks, "We're going to Hell for doing this play..."
* JesusWasWayCool: "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus"
* LawOfInverseFertility
* MeaningfulName: Dana is derived from Denmark, which Hamlet is the prince of. Dana is also an alternate spelling of the name for Danu, a Celtic fertility goddess.
* MushroomSamba: Some of the students slip acid into Dana's iced tea early in the film. He wakes up on an abandoned couch -- without his pants.
* NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity: InUniverse, the titular play crosses so many lines that [[spoiler:the protest eventually earns the play a Broadway run.]]
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Cricket Feldstein uses her knowledge of various laws (especially those related to free speech) to keep "Hamlet 2" from getting shut down, which makes her a rare positive example of this trope.
* OffTheWagon: This happens as part of Dana's DarkestHour sequence.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Steve Coogan's natural English accent comes through quite a bit.
* RefugeInAudacity: The whole play pretty much runs on this.
** One of the earlier ads for the film showed just the name of the film and followed it with a voiceover which says, "We apologize to the following groups this film may offend" before listing ''everyone''.
* TheRival: In a parody of this trope, Dana's chief rival -- the school paper's drama critic -- is a kid who looks no older than thirteen.
* RunningGag: No one can pronounce Mr. Marschz' name correctly.
** Yolanda getting hit in the face with something, or hurt in general.
** Mr. Marschz' malaproper as shown above.
* SaveOurStudents: The film parodies the "inspirational teacher" genre -- chiefly by turning the teacher into a pretentious blowhard and making at least some of the "needy kids" pretty bright.
** It also parodies the BillyElliotPlot in a brilliant manner: Octavio, a Latino student, tells Marschz that his parents won't let him do the play. Dana heads down to "the barrio" so he can talk Octavio's parents out of their "ethnic narrow-mindedness". The camera pans out to show Octavio's cushy home; Octavio himself has both a 3.9 GPA and early acceptance to Brown. His parents' disapproval of the play comes from a disdain not for the arts (his father and mother both make a substantial living from writing and painting, respectively), but for the play's poor writing.
* ShoutOut: Lampshaded:
--> '''Elizabeth Shue:''' He's doing [[Film/TheKarateKid the Crane]]!
* SmallTownBoredom: Tucson isn't really ''small''[[note]]It's the second-largest city in Arizona and home to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Arizona a major research university]][[/note]], but given how the film describes it as the place where dreams go to die in the opening monologue...
* StylisticSuck: "Hamlet 2" (the play, not the movie itself)
* TooIncompetentToOperateABlanket: One of the opening commercials has Dana playing one of these.
* TheVoiceless: Yolanda [[spoiler:finally talks near the end of the film and gives Dana (by now depressed and hungover) a GetAHoldOfYourselfMan / TheReasonYouSuckSpeech]].
* WellDoneSonGuy: Dana apparently suffers issues about this with his own father -- and adopted the school's principal as something of a warped substitute.