Zoolander 2 Review


So after 7 months of trailers, posters, and videos, revealing an absurd amount of cameos, the return of almost every single member of the cast, I can’t help but think, why the hell did they release this the same day as “Deadpool”?

Both films fit the same audience, and yet with releasing on the same day as “Deadpool”, it was immediately placed second on every film lover’s film to see this week. When it comes to “Zoolander” and “Zoolander 2”  you really have to give the actors points right out of the gate to be able to act so dumb, so seriously. Let’s just get it out of the way that there are by my count 24 celebrity cameos throughout the film. I won’t spoil any of them, but to be quite honest, I didn’t expect much less and only just a handful of the cameos really made me roll my eyes. Let’s not forget the late, great David Bowie had a cameo as a dance off judge in the first film. The first film knew how to have fun and make fun of the modeling and the fashion world without being too dumb. It was unique, original and downright hilarious. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for its sequel.

Zoolander 2 still

I was informed the original cut for the film had a 123 minute runtime without any credits. It now has a runtime of 102 minutes, with a week of reshoots. I’ll give the movie credit upfront, it did a fairly decent job at poking fun at the fashion, glamor, and fame of today. Zoolander still may have a flip phone, but a lot has changed since the early 2000’s, and not for the better in my opinion. I will say that “Zoolander 2” has a 2:1 ratio. For every two jokes, one is good, while the other is not. It’s not this awful garbage that the mainstream critics are making it out to be, but it certainly isn’t the first film, while it does have its good qualities. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I was very happy to see the vast majority of the cast return to reprise their characters.

The movie picks up quite simple. Zoolander’s wife passed away while he lived in exile for 15 years, while Hansel went off in the middle of the desert to hide away from a hideous scar on his face. So naturally with the fate of the world at hand, the government, aka Penelope Cruz, recruits Hansel and Zoolander to save the world, for no apparent reason. Once again guys, remember to check your logic at the door. Celebrity popstars are being killed off one by one, but before they die, the take a selfie while using a Zoolander pose, leaving the three of them to find the killer. While that’s great for the first 50-60 minutes, we do get to have a few fun times with some of the new characters, especially Kristen Wiig who plays a character similar to Miranda Preasley from “The Devil Wears Prada.” It’s odd mentioning the much longer runtime of the film, because Kristen Wiig feels quite pointless, yet hilarious at the same time. She really sets a good example to let everyone know the fashion world is pretty stupid and that the anti aging cream for $1000 ain’t working. Obviously over the last few years, the term hipsters has been big, and I loved how “Zoolander 2” made fun of a generation who finds it fun to not do anything. There is a hipster henchman to Kristen Wiig played by Kyle Mooney, and he pops up and gives very long almost standup like jokes, which never seem funny, a shame since he’s funny on SNL, and does show up for a cameo in “Neighbors 2.” So Penelope Cruz was hot and did her job for the most part, Kristen Wiig was way under used, and this hipster guy just sadly had no purpose. The final new character in the mix is Zoolander’s son, Derreck Zoolander Jr., who has been left in an orphanage coincidentally in Rome, where they’re trying to track down the bad guys. Here’s the only point in the movie where it got maybe borderline offensive, which was when Derrick saw his son was “fat” which began a sadly overused, unfunny, ongoing joke throughout the film.

Ben Stiller

So at this point you’re halfway through the movie, and you’re wondering, “Where the hell is Will Ferrill?” Sadly he doesn’t enter the picture until an hour into the film. While some jokes once he entered the film continued to be quite funny, the movie seems to have an almost split personality. All of the bad guys you previously saw are overshadowed and it becomes the Will Ferrill show, and wasn’t that funny. It felt weird and shouldn’t take 15 minutes to introduce him. But I don’t want to dock it too harshly because it’s great to see such a beloved character come back. I can understand why some people would find this movie so bad that they’d need a round of drinks afterwards, making it funny that the film was sponsored by uber, almost as if to say they knew the movie was trying way too hard. From this point to the rest of the movie it officially enters hyper overdrive wtf territory. As the most random things happened, Floyd and I couldn’t help but yell at the screen what the hell. There was also an ongoing joke in the film where Hansel and Zoolander spoke in hashtags, and that got old real quick. They also pulled the gross cliche making out involving an overuse of tongues, and Zoolander sadly did a lot of this humor. It also made poor use of the F bomb for a PG13 film.


I think the biggest problem “Zoolander 2” had to face was whoever decided to release it the same day as “Deadpool.” You always want your film to be #1 or if it’s up against a blockbuster, you still want it to do fairly well. The common factor between “Deadpool” and “Zoolander 2″ is that not only are they focused on the same audience, they center on nostalgia. “Deadpool” stems from comics and merchandise, so there’s already a huge fan base going in. “Zoolander” has built such a cult like following that when the teaser trailer premiered in front of Mission Impossible 5, we were all going crazy, yet here we are, and the film is basically immaterial. I had friends dressing up for cosplay literally debating do they go as Deadpool or Mugatu. “Zoolander 2″ is certainly not the waste the critics are making it out to be, but with “Deadpool” overshadowing it, will “Zoolander 2” find its way into the video store like it’s prequel? Or will it be an unloved sequel? If you’re going to the movies once, go see “Deadpool”, but if you liked the first film, go give “Zoolander 2” a shot. Sadly though with the price of admission, it does tinker on rental material.

★ ★
Reviewed by Kory Davis