Zoolander 2 reminded me a lot of Dumb and Dumber To – a stupidly funny treat for diehard fans of the original. It’s not nearly as good as the first one, because, really, the novelty is gone. You know that former fashion model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) will ultimately save the day with one of his signature looks, like the classic magnum, or blue steel.
I was most entertained by the first half-hour, featuring Derek’s return from self-imposed exile after the death of his wife in a tragedy that he is believed to have caused, and the last half-hour, when Will Ferrell shines in his return as the evil fashion guru Mugatu who 15 years ago, tried to brainwash Zoolander into killing the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The middle of the movie dragged for me, likely because I simply don’t remember the first Zoolander movie all that well. I know I saw it in 2001 but unlike fans who can quote every line and strike every pose, I haven’t watched it since. So a bunch of inside jokes and references probably flew over my head. Or way under it.
Zoolander 2 has plenty of funny moments – and a bunch of brilliantly bizarre cameos – including Kiefer Sutherland as a member of washed-up model Hansel’s (Owen Wilson) “orgy family”, a vast array of fashion icons, delinquent pop star Justin Bieber, and even astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Penélope Cruz joins the cast as “Valentina”, a sexy agent with Interpol’s “fashion police” who enlists Zoolander and Hansel’s help to track down a killer. All this while Zoolander is looking to find and reconnect with his chubby son, who, it turns out, may be some sort of ‘Chosen One’ with “powers” similar to his dad’s.
This movie is strictly for Zoolander fans, or those desperately seeking a relatively family-friendly PG-13 comedy. Anyone else can wait to rent it – or skip it altogether.