5.5 out of 10
Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander
Owen Wilson as Hansel
Penélope Cruz as Valentina
Will Ferrell as Mugatu
Kristen Wiig as Alexanya Atoz
Benedict Cumberbatch as All
Justin Theroux as Evil DJ
Christine Taylor as Matilda Jeffries
Cyrus Arnold as Derek Zoolander Jr.
Directed by Ben Stiller
Zoolander 2 Review:
Zoolander 2 has some fun cameos and a great supporting cast, but there aren’t enough solid laughs to make it worth seeing in the theater.
After the tragic death of his wife Matilda, Derek Zoolander’s life falls apart. He doesn’t know how to take care of his son and loses him to Child Protective Services. His friend Hansel, disfigured in the same accident that killed Matilda, shuns him. And worst of all, he leaves the world of modeling to become a “hermit crab.” Zoolander disappears, never to be heard from again.
But in the present day, someone begins killing the beautiful people of the world – Justin Bieber, Madonna, Demi Lovato, and more. Valentina, an investigator for Interpol’s Fashion Division, attempts to track down the killer. She notes that all of the victims flash a stunning model face in selfies as they die in an attempt to convey a secret message… a message that only Derek Zoolander can decipher. But where is he? And what could possibly lure him out of retirement?
Zoolander 2 is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong language.
There’s one thing that Zoolander 2 is really notable for, and that’s getting celebrities to mock themselves. We see Justin Bieber brutally murdered in the opening scene, then Instagramming his final breath… but not before picking the perfect image filter. We see Kiefer Sutherland as Hansel’s lover… actually one of 11 lovers. Fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger joins several others in a fun scene as members of a bizarre cult. Then there are cameos by Sting, Madonna, Ariana Grande, Bruce Springsteen, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Katy Perry, and more. Throw in a few mock news broadcasts by Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, and Christiane Amanpour, and you have some really entertaining moments.
While the cameos are a lot of fun, the supporting cast is entertaining as well. The film runs out of steam until Will Ferrell shows up as Mugatu and breathes new, ridiculous life into the story. He’s just as over-the-top as he was in the previous film. Kristen Wiig is also bizarre as Alexanya Atoz, an Italian designer with a little too much plastic surgery. She’s hard to look at, but hard to look away from. She’s like a train wreck in that respect. Penélope Cruz sells her role as Valentina for all she’s worth. She’s a great straight woman for Stiller and Wilson’s idiocy. Benedict Cumberbatch is also unsettling as All, an androgynous supermodel. The way he toys with Ben Stiller is pretty funny and I imagine they had some great outtakes from his performance. Cyrus Arnold also stands out as Derek Zoolander Jr. He’s the butt of a lot of fat jokes, but the kid holds his own with the senior cast, especially in the big finale.
What Didn’t Work:
You’d think with 15 years between films they’d have time to write a better script. You’d be wrong. This is just a poorly-written story with few solid jokes. It’s also another case where all of the best scenes are in the trailer. Watch that and you’ve seen most of what Zoolander 2 has to offer.
As an example of how weak it is, Zoolander and Valentina find themselves stranded on an island and needing to get back to Rome. How do they do that? Zoolander grabs onto Valentina and she swims like a torpedo back to shore. Yes, it’s like the scene with David Hasselhoff in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. That’s the caliber of the story here.
The Bottom Line:
Zoolander 2 would make an OK rental and would be fine to watch on TV, but it’s not worth shelling out money for in theaters. If you’re up for it, Deadpool is a better bet for laughs. Alternatively, just go watch the original Zoolander again.