William Shakespeare

‘Cymbeline’ is an admirable Shakespeare adaptation, but far too convoluted

Cymbeline is director Michael Almereyda’s second Shakespeare adaptation set in modern day, his last being 2000’s Hamlet, also starring Ethan Hawke. The Bard’s late work tragedy, previously set in the Royal Court of Olde England, receives a face-lift, updated to a war between the Roman police force and the Briton Motorcycle Club ran by Cymbeline (Ed Harris). The King trades in a crown for an Uzi and a leather jacket as a drug kingpin troubled by familial strife. His second wife (the serpentine Mila Jovovich) despises Cymbeline’s daughter, Imogen (Dakota Johnson, proving she has acting chops that viewers may not find in Fifty Shades of Grey), for not marrying her son, Cloten (Anton Yelchin). In secret, Imogen has pledged herself to Posthumus (Penn Badgley), much to Cymbeline’s displeasure.

Joss Whedon’s modernized ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ a delight

Spending two hours in the world of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing inspires envy in his seemingly palatial abode, as well as delight at his effortless, carefree adaptation of an equally effortless and carefree Shakespearean comedy. There’s mistaken identity, slapstick, swooning romance, and giddy farce, as you would expect from any revival, modern or otherwise.

Scroll to Top