In 2001, the absurd comedy Zoolander arrived on the silver screen. A film about a hapless male model, who is brainwashed by an evil fashion designer and ordered to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia. It was very entertaining; it had a huge cast, it had cameo’s galore and it didn’t need a sequel.
Fast forward 15 years to the arrival of Zoolander 2 and I have to warn you all, it isn’t everything that you may be looking forward to. Sorry but it’s true. Zoolander hasn’t aged well.
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson reprise their roles of Derek and Hansel 15 years after the collapse of The Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too and the subsequent death of Derek’s wife Maltilda, so don’t expect too much from Christine Taylor this time around. Hansel becomes scarred in the collapse, Derek loses his son to social services, so both disappear from the world, only to be pulled back into the lime light by none other than Billy Zane.
Enter Kristen Wiig as Alexanya Atoz, who barely features that much during the film, with an irritatingly over the top accent that for me was more annoying than amusing and don’t even get me started on wanting to kill Kyle Mooney’s Don Atari. Then there is Benedict Cumberbatch’s controversial Transgender character All. If you remember, late last year the film came under fire for Cumberbatch’s character and how it is damaging to the transgender world and it is easy to see why. It really does just seem like a very lazy joke which potentially runs the risk of greatly offending the transgender community. All it does here is just add another nail to the coffin
Stiller and Wilson are pretty much the only entertaining element in a film that seemed to stagnate around them. Will Ferrell does add to the entertainment when he appears but even this comic trio isn’t enough to balance out a less than amusing story line and a supporting cast, though made up of big names, that don’t seem to contribute much to the story line in any great way.
It would be unfair to say though that Zoolander 2 is completely without comedy. There are a number of celebrity cameos that provide some much needed laughter in a cinema screen that is severely lacking in a sense of humor. Kiefer Sutherland with baby problems, Susan Sarandon who wants Hansel to T..T..T..T..Touch her she wants to be dirty (a nice little reference for Rocky Horror fans out there) and Katy Perry and Neil deGrasse Tyson with an identity crisis. These cameos probably provided more humor collectively than a majority of what really felt like a mediocre script. Even Penelope Cruz’s cleavage wasn’t enough to save this movie.
Zoolander 2 is a sequel that should have been left as an idea and nothing more. We all marveled in awe when Derek unleashed Magnum on us 15 years ago, unfortunately Magnum isn’t so great anymore. It is shame but if you are a fan of the first film and really want to see this one then do. All I say is don’t hold your breath. Or, if you are like me and really are not a huge fan of Justin Beiber and would quite like to see him blown away from point blank range with a silenced Uzi on a Rome back street, then sitting through the whole 100 minutes of this film will be worth it just for that sequence at the beginning.
Article by James Randall-Coath