Joss Whedon takes a step outside of the Marvel's the Avengers spotlight for a moment to adapt Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing. The cast – comprised of Whedon regulars from shows Dollhouse and Firefly and films Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers – gives witty, cute, and passionate performances in a Shakespearean tongue that is spoken so quickly that, at times, it can be hard to translate.
This comedy leans heavily on Benedick (Alexis Denisof), a man who vows never to marry, and Dogberry (Nathan Fillion), a slightly dimwitted constable of the Watch and “an ass,” who both light up the screen. The inevitable drama of Shakespearean writing is depicted through Claudio (Fran Kranz), who, love-stricken and gullible, shames his love, Hero (Jillian Morgese), in the belief that she has been unfaithful. Kranz is sweet and provoking as an ignorant romantic.
Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing is all you could ask for in a modernized Shakespearean adaptation. The setting, wardrobe, and American accents are what separate this film from Shakespeare’s original creation, but none of which take away from the story’s comic splendor. The Bard would be proud. ★★★☆