This will be far too brief, less than the film deserves. But I’m off to Spain tomorrow, and I wanted to get a couple of thoughts down while the movie was fresh in my mind.
I’m not a big fan of Shakespeare’s comedies … among other things, I never laugh at them. It takes a gimmick to get me to watch. The gimmick in this case, of course, is that Joss Whedon did it and populated the cast largely with his usual bunch of acting cohorts. No one is bad, and a few stand out. Amy Acker really is as good as I’d heard as Beatrice (I read an interview where Joss said she is the best actress he’d ever worked with … wonder what Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku thought of that). Fran Kranz is cast against type as Claudio, and is very good. And Nathan Fillion steals the show as Dogberry, which is amazing considering Dogberry is just the kind of character I never like in Shakespeare. (Tom Lenk as his sidekick, Verges, is also good.)
Whedon makes the modern-day setting work, which is hard to do. The cast handles Shakespeare in a natural fashion, and I admit it’s nice to see Shakespeare done by Americans (well, Nathan Fillion is Canadian). 8/10.