Zoolander No. 2 Review: Just Go See Deadpool

Photo Credit:http://www.ew.com/article/2015/11/20/zoolander-2-transphobia-boycott

If you’re craving an insanely hilarious and simultaneously immature, but sort of smart about it, movie that, in a way, harkens back to the Zoolander days, you should go see Deadpool. If you’re feeling slightly nostalgic about those Zoolander days and really miss Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, maybe just pony up the $3.00 on Amazon and watch the original. Zoolander No. 2 is dead on arrival. Has a comedy sequel ever felt so uninspired? Oh yeah, Dumb and Dumber To, which, when paired with this sequel, is a pretty great argument to just leave your favorite comedies from 15 years ago alone. They don’t need these black marks tarnishing their legacy.

Zoolander 2‘s opening credits fill us on the last 15 years at a remarkable pace, showing the death of Derek Zoolander’s (Stiller) wife Matilda (Christine Taylor), child services taking away his son (Cyrus Arnold, the most annoying child cinema may have ever given us), and his self-imposed exile. Meanwhile, Hansel (Owen Wilson) was just having orgies in the desert. But when the world’s most beautiful people start getting murdered, Fashion Interpol, led by Melanie Valentina (a bored Penelope Cruz), investigates and finds that it’s all somehow related to Derek Zoolander. A few celebrity cameos, just for the sake of having them, drive the plot to get everyone together. I’m not sure how it was missed that celebrity cameos have to have a joke to be funny, they can’t just deliver relevant plot information. Not all of them fall flat though. The controversial appearance of Benedict Cumberbatch as a transgender model in the trailer is mostly handled with taste and also the comedic highlight of the movie. There are a couple other decent ones I won’t reveal, but most of them have celebrities just standing there and Derek stating their full name as if waiting for the applause of a live studio audience.

Things pick up a bit once Mugatu (Will Ferrell) re-enters the plot, mostly due to Ferrell’s electric comedic energy being the first thing worth paying attention to in a half-hour chunk of the movie. But there isn’t a whole lot of substance to anything going on really. Where the original skewered the fashion industry, the sequel is trying to make fun of…spy thrillers maybe? There’s an awkwardly handled subtext of “big people can be beautiful too” that gets lost in the onslaught of celebrity cameos and recycled jokes from the original. None of it really ends up mattering. For those people asking for a Zoolander sequel, this likely wasn’t what they wanted. This lazy, half-baked effort makes the similarly irrelevant but frequently hilarious Anchorman 2 look like comedic gold by comparison.  Again though, there’s a much better film that came out this weekend that is likely to quench your thirst on the type of movie you wanted Zoolander 2 to be. So go give Deadpool money instead so we can get a (hopefully) more inspired sequel than this one. Grade: D+

By Matt Dougherty

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