“ZOOLANDER 2” Review
Co-written and directed by Ben Stiller
Zoolander 2 is the disaster sequel that should not have been. Dressed as the sequel to the 2001 film Zoolander, it offers nothing fresh as it ridiculously tries to exude the same wackiness of the original’s satirical inspection of the fashion industry and fails all the time.
Its story makes the perfect excuse to separate the two fashion icons in Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel McDonald (Owen Wilson) and setting them not just in seclusion but also in the brink of retirement. The reunion could have sparked interest and a few laughs, knowing how it would be riotous to keep them together, but remains on one side of a plateau ready for a downfall. With the inclusion of a sexy police in Penélope Cruz’s Valentina and a comical fashion maven in Kristen Wiig’s Alexanya Atoz, there is something else to notice other than the trip-inducing appearance of Will Ferrell as Mugatu.
After receiving a special invitation to join a major world fashion event in Rome, Italy, Derek and Hansel have the best trigger to redeem themselves and bring back the glory that they rightfully achieved in the 2001 film. When they are put on the runway, they both expect the same glory as before. However, much to their shame, they are presented with the words “Old” and “Lame” across their outfits. Those adjectives should have just stayed throughout the film even until they are recruited to save the fashion world to add more spice to the already bland story.
Zoolander 2 overwhelms itself with the cameo participations of a number of stars, adding reality to the kind of comedy that gravely attempts to be either self-aware or funny. The trailers could have been nice enough to take these surprises off the meters but these could actually entice the audience to give the film a chance.
Introductions to the bit players are good enough to serve the film a good means for short laughters (and ultimately a distraction every once in a while) but nothing more. As an opener, Justin Bieber sprints and parkours as he gets away from an operative, only to be cornered and gunned down in the most dramatic way possible—a much-feared picture for the fans and much-awaited dream-come-true for the haters. As if the multitude of gunshots are not enough to make him faint, Bieber pulls out his phone to take a selfie, channelling Zoolander’s trademark pose, and spends time in choosing a filter in Instagram before sharing it online. A surprise in the limelight is Benedict Cumberbatch as a gender-fluid model with long, straight, black hair that would make one scream “Whatever happened to Sherlock Holmes!” Also featured are Susan Boyle giving a middle finger at the Rome airport, a nagging and rumormongering Sting, and Kiefer Sutherland in desertland. Playing bit roles as well are fashion icons Anna Wintour, Valentino, Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang and Tommy Hilfiger, who are all on the lookout for the fountain of youth.
Director, co-writer, co-producer, and lead star Stiller appears to have been too engrossed in the idea of creating a follow-up, granted the reception of the original comedy 15 years since. All those years could have been spent in other materials and that idea could have just remained as is: an idea never to be realized for the sake of the world’s sanity. Zoolander 2 just turns out as one unrehearsed show in a colorful and vibrant and blazing runway, teeming with capable supermodels that awkwardly lose their balance at the crack of lame jokes and silly sketches. More than just an unforgettable film all in all, this sequel is simply a mish-mash of outmoded ideas—unfashionable and centuries too late.