Zoolander 2 Review

Zoolander 2

When it comes to the amount of time elapsed between films, I’ve always wondered if there is an unspoken statute of limitations for sequels and reboots. Especially when it comes to comedies.

Most commercially successful comedies trot out as many sequels as possible and within a short timeframe. American Pie being a case in point.

Other cult favourites tend to resurface decades later in the guise of reboots, such as the upcoming Ghostbusters movie.

And then there are those comedies which proved classics on release but for which it has taken a mysteriously longer time for any follow-up film to materialise.

Yeah, I’m looking at you Ron Burgundy.

Zoolander 2 seems to slot neatly into the last category, boasting a whopping hiatus of fifteen years.

As a recap, the original film told the story of Derek Zoolander, a male model who has fallen from grace and needs to reclaim his status whilst simultaneously foiling a nefarious plot. Along the way he is aided by a beautiful woman.

The sequel tells the story of Derek Zoolander, a male model who once again has fallen from grace and needs to reclaim his status whilst simultaneously foiling a nefarious plot. Along the way he is aided by a beautiful woman.

In this case, his former rival-turned-best-bud Hansel (Owen Wilson) is along for the ride.

Penelope Cruz meanwhile takes over the love interest role as Melanie Valentina, a swimsuit-model-turned-Interpol-Agent (fashion divsion).

Oh, and there’s a bonding subplot involving Zoolander’s now-teenage son too.

One of the strengths about the first film was its reliance on the ridiculousness over the lowbrow.

On the plus side, Zoolander 2 offers more of the same if nothing new. Apart from some updated gags on social media and hipsters.

There are some welcome additions to the cast: Kristen Wiig is hilarious, though nearly unrecognisable, as the heavily-accented Alexanya Atos. Kyle Mooney is funny too as Atos’ second-in-command, Don Atari.

And there is a welcome, if sadly fleeting, appearance by Benedict Cumberbatch as the androgynous, mono-married, new catwalk sensation ‘All’.

Zoolander 2 is also by book-ended by some truly funny news montages which neatly serve a prologue /epilogue function as well as raising a few smiles.

However, some mild warning signs are flagged from the opening scenes which consist of a high-speed action sequence and suggest a forthcoming cinematic experience reminiscent of one of Stiller’s other post-Zoolander directorial duties, Tropic Thunder.

It’s immediately clear: the budget is bigger and so is the scale.

This seems to be to the detriment of the plot, which is meandering, the script, which generates chortles rather than belly laughs, and the inevitable reliance on some uninspired revisits of jokes from the first film.

There is a flagging point in the film where, with a suspiciously high level of self-awareness, the film trots out the first of several incongruously-placed repeat gags. Cue the Wham music.

Whether a sequel or a reboot, hardcore fans may forgive its failure to live up to the original whilst newbies will most likely be confused by it.

Conor Brennan

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