It’s almost pointless to even review this film. Anyone that hated the first Zoolander film will not be swayed into seeing the newest installment of Ben Stiller’s male model insanity just by reading this review. I will humour those people though and review it anyway because I am that kind of a guy!
This time we find out that ever since 2001 and the collapse of the Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good, Derek has been in hiding. Why, you ask? Well that is because the center landed on his wife Matilda (Taylor), crushing and killing her. He managed to save his son, Derek Jr. (Cyrus Arnold) but because of his awful parenting skills, Derek Jr. gets put into an orphanage. Derek later meets up with Hansel after they get made fun of at a runway show by some little hipster (Mooney) and then learn of a real plot by someone to kill celebrities including Justin Bieber. The hook? They all died making one of Derek’s signature looks.
So what is there to say about Zoolander 2? It’s a big-budget, silly, stupid, over-the-top, crude, and… well… hilarious film! I can unashamedly say that this is obviously not a “good movie” but it is one that entertained me from start to finish thanks to multiple aspects of the film. For starters, let’s talk about the comedic talent involved in this project. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell are all dependable hands that have returned from the first one and they are just as good the second time as they were when they first appeared nearly 15 years ago. Some new arrivals include Kristen Wiig, who has this insane speech pattern when she speaks and is quite funny. Her skin is similar to that of Donatella Versace on her WORST day. Kyle Mooney of Saturday Night Live shows up for his first big film role and his delivery is so unique and funny that it makes him really stand out for me. Mooney plays a kind-of hipster who is a big fan of things that are actually terrible so of course he attaches himself to Derek and Hansel right off the bat. Penelope Cruz doesn’t really bring much to the table except look hot and she does that well so… kudos? The only person I REALLY didn’t like in the film is Cyrus Arnold and his portrayal of Derek Jr. Unlike Stiller, his acting felt very forced and unnatural and I didn’t laugh either when he mugged for the camera attempting to replicate Stiller’s signature ‘look.’ The rest of the film is filled out with a TON of celebrity cameos from a number of hilarious performers and some unexpected ones as well.
The visuals of the film are very similar to the first one. There’s a lot of quick, MTV-style editing and while normally that would be a bit of an annoyance to sit through, it works with this film because it’s just so outlandish and insane much like its predecessor. Also, the last shot of the film made me laugh out loud so hopefully you will enjoy it as well. It’s completely random and crazy but very funny.
Most of the jokes revolve around Derek and Hansel being stupid and not being able to interpret simple concepts but that was from the original one as well. It’s all about expectations. Don’t go into this film expecting carefully-constructed and brilliant jokes with wonderful payoffs. No, you should expect ridiculous performances, hilarious cameos that come out of left field at times, and insane situations involving things like models making things move around using a ‘look.’ Yep, I had a good time with it but I would only recommend you go if you enjoyed the first one!
I feel like this review was just me saying that it was random and insane but that’s really the only way I can properly describe it without ruining too much.
* (Brutal; the worst rating)
** (Some elements keep it from being awful but still not very good)
*** (Completely watchable; a rental as old-timers might say)
**** (Great film with a few things here and there keeping it from being perfect)
***** (Flawless; a true achievement)