Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penélope Cruz
Director: Ben Stiller
Running Time: 102 mins
Zoolander 2 is an American film and the sequel to Zoolander. Fifteen years after opening he miraculously save the Malaysian Prime Minister from assassination, ridiculously good-looking male model has faded into obscurity. However, after a series of celebrities are killed sporting his signature look, he and his friend Hansel are brought back to the fashion world to bring down the mysterious assassins.
I really liked the original Zoolander, with its unique brand of cleverly dumb comedy, but I never thought we needed a sequel. Nonetheless, when Zoolander 2 was announced, I was looking forward to it, and with a couple of pretty entertaining trailers, I thought that this wasn’t going to be one of those awful comedy sequels.
Oh, how wrong I was.
I’m sorry to say that Zoolander 2 is easily one of the worst comedy sequels I’ve ever seen. Apart from a couple of chuckles, it failed to make me laugh on a consistent basis, further angering me as it got more and more boring and irritating as the film unfolded. Its story makes absolutely no sense, and the narrative gets completely tangled up on numerous occasions, destroying any enjoyment you could have found in the film away from the terrible comedy, making this a thoroughly dull and difficult movie to watch from start to finish.
The main thing we have to talk about here is how bad the comedy is. All comedy sequels are tough to do, but normally, by keeping everything pretty similar, you can get an entertaining movie. The problem with Zoolander 2 is that it completely fails to deliver the brilliant sense of humour that first film had.
The original Zoolander wasn’t a dumb film, in fact it was a really clever comedy that centred around a dumb character. The jokes were well-written, and the majority of the humour stemmed from those main characters. In the sequel, however, the comedy is just dumb. Relying WAY too heavily on celebrity cameos for cheap laughs (I’ll put a list of the million celebs who appear at the end of the review – don’t look if you don’t want it spoiled), and just completely underwhelming gags on a constant basis, there’s very little to laugh at.
I will admit I chuckled a couple of times. Benedict Cumberbatch’s slightly offensive transgender character that you’ve seen in the trailers was pretty good, and a couple of the jokes they did satirising modern social media and hipsters etc. weren’t too bad either.
Apart from that, this is a hugely unfunny film, and I’d say about 95% of all of the jokes completely miss the mark. Sometimes, when there was a joke, it would take me a few seconds to realise that it was actually meant to be funny. And when I say sometimes, I mean pretty much all the time, which shows you just how unfunny this is.
Now, that’s the main objective of a comedy: to make you laugh. But, seeing as that failed completely in Zoolander 2, maybe the story could have salvaged something.
No, it didn’t. The plot here is absolutely atrocious. Whilst the first film had a clear focus, Derek being brainwashed to kill the Malaysian Prime Minister, everything in the sequel is all over the place. At some points they’re looking for the assassins, sometimes they’re just trying to do fashion, sometimes they want to find Derek’s son, and all sorts of other rubbish that made this a hugely messy film that failed to interest or entertain me at any point.
Now, I’ve been really harsh to Zoolander 2 here, and although I think it definitely deserves heavy criticism, there is one thing that I do have to praise, and that’s Ben Stiller’s directing. Much like the first film, Zoolander 2 looks very stylish, just like the world of high fashion should be. Every scene is fantastically put together, the action sequences are brilliantly choreographed, and it is generally a very nice film to look at.
That’s it for positives, though. Overall, Zoolander 2 was a painfully disappointing film. It completely fails to live up to its predecessor, but most importantly, it almost never makes you laugh, and with such a huge amount of jokes coming your way, it becomes quickly annoying and horrendously dull to watch, so that’s why it gets a 4.4 from me.
(Celebrity cameo list (to make a point): Justin Bieber, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lewis Hamilton, John Malkovich, Kiefer Sutherland, SUSAN BOYLE, Tommy Hilfiger, MC Hammer, Kim Kardashian, Kate Moss, Katy Perry, Billy Zane (numerous times), Susan Sarandon, Demi Lovato, Anna Wintour, Sting, Willie Nelson, Naomi Campbell, and a bunch of others that I probably didn’t even notice).