Oh my, what a disappointment..
The original Zoolander was by no means a masterpiece, but it was still an entertaining comedy with many iconic performances and hilarious set-pieces. The sequel, coming 10 years too late, takes everything we loved from the first one and turns it up to 11 but somehow it just cant recapture the magic. It seems they are throwing everything they can think of at the screen and seeing what sticks but unfortunately little does. Times have changed since 2001 and the film does manage to convey the current trends, poking fun at hipsters, modern fashion and Justin Bieber (funny but aren’t we a bit past that). Benedict Cumberbatch does have a scene stealing cameo exhibiting the gender-neutral type models of todays fashion world, however it is one of the few that actually work in a flood of pointless and awkward cameos ranging from a cringe worthy Susan Sarandon to fashion icons like Tommy Hilfiger struggling to act. Worst of all, they just aren’t funny and neither are a lot of the jokes delivered here by even comedy legends like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Their characters struggle to stay relevant in a changing fashion world and this is obvious commentary on their own changing careers but while Zoolander and Hansel become fashion icons once again, this wont be the film to do the same for Stiller and Wilson.
Now there are a few jokes that work but they are few and far between; a recurring orgy joke loses steam quickly and a majority of the gags are incredibly predictable. However there is one shining light here and that is Will Ferrell’s return as Mugatu – once again he steals the show but his appearance is too little, too late. Regardless, he still made me laugh out loud several times. Stiller directs here too and it is his weakest work from what I have seen. The well-crafted comedy of Tropic Thunder is gone and instead actors and shots are allowed a little too much freedom; moments of comedy or tension are undercut as the camera lingers a bit too long.
At the end of the day, I just can’t recommend Zoolander 2 but I still think it is worth looking up short clips for the few moments of hilarity in a mostly stale sequel.