Length: 102 Minutes
Cast: Ben Stiller
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are back after a fifteen-year long wait between Zoolander and Zoolander 2. Unlike the fifteen-year long wait between Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, Zoolander 2 does not breathe new life into the characters nor is it offered a hero’s welcome. With an uneven plot, numerous gags that don’t work and a complete inundation of celebrity cameos, Zoolander 2 does not live up to its hype. The funniest scene was the actual climax, which was absolutely hilarious but the reward was not worth it because I had to see 80 minutes of disappointment before I got 15 minutes of good material #oops.
Here is the short, board premise of the film (The Fountain of Youth subplot is so left-of-centre that I could not really describe it accurately without going into a twenty- line paragraph). Derek and Hansel have been recluses for 15 years. They decide to make a comeback in Rome where a big fashion show is held. The problem is there is someone who is killing celebrities and only Derek Zoolander and Hansel can save the world’s most beautiful people.
Ben Stiller plays Derek Zoolander: a highly arrogant, naïve, idiotic, self-absorbing, metro-looking man who believes that he is gods gift to beauty and owns the catwalk. He social skills are also limited but he displayed kindness in his heart despite the fact he didn’t know how to express it. His sidekick is Hansel played by Owen Wilson who strives for beauty as much as Derek Zoolander but lives his life in a relaxed transcendental state.
I have a confession to make: I had high expectations for this film and because of that, I was disappointed. I ultimately gave the original Zoolander film the benefit of the doubt. We are currently in the era of social media, which gives some people the inane logic that self-absorption is the key to social acceptance. I thought this was where the character of Derek Zoolander would thrive because the social media world fits him perfectly. I imagined there would be tons of new gags that would only be befitting of Derek Zoolander in that world but instead, they rehashed lots of gags from the previous Zoolander films, which a person would not understand if they did not see the original.
9 out of 10 of the gags in the film just were not funny, not embarrassingly unfunny but unfunny nonetheless. There was one “gag” in particular that just made my skin crawl. When Derek meets his son for the first time in many years he is shocked to realize that he is overweight and not the spitting image of himself. He says to Hansel that because he is overweight he must be a terrible person. It was not even a mean-spirited joke, it was not a stereotypical joke it was not even offensive for the sake of being offensive it was just plain mean. The only saving grace this film actually has is when Will Ferrell’s character Jacobim Mugatu returns, then the film starts to get some traction and slowly becomes funny (after watching two-thirds of the whole film)
I am going to mention the cameo appearances because they permeate throughout at such an annoyingly unhealthy level that it is impossible to ignore. For anyone who is over 18 reading this review and love the alcoholic beverage or two (or five) you can play a drinking game: A mouthful of grog every time celebrity makes a cameo. A wide majority of the cameos were just distractions of the plot and considering that there are at least 15-20 cameos it thus made the film disjointed. Half of them were also were mentioned by their name which defeats the purpose of the cameo.
Despite all of this there was a climatic scene and ending that was so hilarious I almost recommend seeing the film based on the scene alone.
But considering the uneven plot that was exacerbated by celebrity cameos, unfunny humour, and in-your-face product placement the climax ultimately could not save the film entirely *1/2