Zoolander 2 review
As much as Zoolander claimed to have a world full of idiots as models, that is certainty not the case in my experience. If anything, modeling is more then being good looking. It’s like a different version of acting, as models have to show a wider range of motion with their face now that their mouths are silent as are most ads. It also requires the ability to pose for a while which is harder then you think (it’s nothing like sitting on a couch). And of course, they are within a set body frame that requires them to stay in shape (yes, even the plus sized models) so that their careers aren’t threatened.
Zoolander happens to be a great comedy from Ben Stiller who also wrote and directed it. It wasn’t just a good comedy about a dumb guy, but it also felt different. It both felt like a darker story, yet was still colorful. It’s brainwashing-assassination story was so crazy, that it was able to remain unpredictable with it’s scenario. The movie came out in 2001, unfortunately not too long after September 11, making it a bomb in theaters, but a constant rewatch in the home and rental market. Fifteen years later, Zoolander 2 tries to recapture that smart stupidity.
Within the time after the first movie, Derek Zoolander’s life has gone down hill with his reading center collapsing due to using the same rubber cement materials from the model, his wife Matilda dying from the collapse, his friends face being damaged from the same incident, and his son being taken away because Zoolander is too dumb to be a safe parent.
Good-looking celebrities like Justin Bieber and Bruce Springsteen are being assassinated by a hidden force. They each make the same “Blue Steel” look from the original movie before they die. Interpol agent Valentina Valencia (played by Penélope Cruz) sees the connection and wants to find Zoolander to get some answers.
Derek Zoolander (played by Ben Stiller) has been in seclusion since his son had been taken away, but is found by Billy Zane to go to Rome for a fashion show. Hansel McDonald (played by Owen Wilson) gets a similar message and does this to get away from the news that his entire orgy group is pregnant. The two meet at the airport and head back into the world of fashion, only to find themselves seen as old and out of place. Valantina finds them and gets them to go undercover in exchange for Zoolander’s son.
While it’s nice to see both Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson return for Zoolander 2, the film suffers from a major problem; it’s not funny. I think that out of all the jokes they fly, I only laughed three or four times. I couldn’t figure out why as the tone feels like the first and the characters are still the same. It then hit me that the story of infiltration and Zoolander wanting to get his son back is a standard predictable scenario. I won’t spoil it, but you could probably guess what’s going to happen. Comedies rely on staying unpredictable, but at least the first movie had a story that was hard to figure out what path it was going to take.
Speaking of making things fly, many of the jokes are story elements that exists in order to simply see what works. At first some of the celebrity cameos like Benedict Cumberbatch and Sting work, but others like Katy Perry, Susan Boyle, and even Neil deGrasse Tyson don’t really fit among the models.
I think what worked in the first movie was that it felt like a lower budget story while this clearly tries to take advantage of the bigger budget, but it feels more forced then funny.
I’ll give this two and a half fashion police badges out of five. Zoolander 2 not only seems like a hyperactive child that tries to hard, but it feels more stupid then it needs to be. While Dumb and Dumber To was criticized for being too dumb (I disagreed on that), this was the movie that I felt where things simply weren’t as smart as before. Without more then one percent humor, I’d say skip this and watch the original.