There's this prince, right...? Bit mad, his mum's boffing his uncle, and there's a ghostly Paul Scofield ambling round the castle suggesting his sprog should off the bastardly new king (Alan Bates)...

Segueing - naturally - from Lethal Weapon to Great Dane, Mel Gibson's Serious Acting pretensions were given short shrift in 1990, but he makes a fair fist of the Bard's indecisive hero - "muscular" is the word theatre critics would use - and his confrontations with ma Glenn Close (only nine years his senior) have a frisson the rest of the movie lacks. Franco Zeffirelli wanted to make a Hamlet for "the youth of today", but aside from Gibson's baby blues there's little to allure teens and enough liberties taken with the text to annoy purists.

If you're taking GSCE English and teacher suggests watching this then, hell, yes; it's an effective Cliffs Notes which will help in the exam. Otherwise, to be bothered, or not to be bothered: that is the question.

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