The first face we see in Zoolander 2 is Justin Bieber, certainly a harbinger for what is yet to come.
When your film flashes a brief cameo by mega-popstar, mega-douche Bieber to try and draw audiences in from the first frame there may just be a problem. A severe lack of trust in the film’s material, perhaps?
As indicated by the trailers for the film, Bieber is killed. He is turned into Swiss cheese by some stock baddie with a machine gun but lives to take one last selfie to post on Instagram. “It’s a comedy, these things happen,” you say. Please.
We then find out someone has been killing popstars around the world. Bieber joins the list of victims that includes Demi Lovato, Usher, et. al. Interpol, led by Penelope Cruz’s Valentina, has been charting the case. To find the murderer, she knows there is no one else who would be able to help her. Yup, the mindless Derek Zoolander will save the day.
Zoolander has been in hiding – living as a hermit crab, as he repeatedly says – after his reading center collapses and kills his wife and leaves his friend, Hansel’s (Owen Wilson), face scared. Once Zoolander became a single parent, his son was taken away from him, because he couldn’t even function on a basic parenting level.
Since the accident, Zoolander and Hansel do not speak. They are pariahs of the male modeling world. They are ultimately reunited when Valentina recruits them to Rome to help solve the murders of the popstars. Wackiness, in the name of comedy, ensues.
I haven’t seen the first Zoolander since it was in theaters in 2001. Even then, when I was young and not jaded, I thought Stiller’s creation was lame. Fifteen years later, my opinion hasn’t changed. Zoolander 2 is a lame excuse to cash-in on the apparent cult status that the first film has achieved. (The first Zoolander only grossed $45 million domestically, which doesn’t always scream sequel.)
Will Ferrell returns as the villain, Mugatu, and Kristen Wiig joins the cast as fashion maven Alexanya Atoz. She is unrecognizable and laughable in her role and the one person I truly felt for in this movie. Wiig has been on such a streak of great work in indie cinema, it’s a shame she took on such a dumb comedy.
Then there is the parade of celebrity cameos you have been hearing so much about. Zoolander 2 has more cameos than a season of Will and Grace but none are particularly funny or inspired. It’s all a bit of look-at-who-we-got, nothing more and nothing less.
Your desire to see Zoolander 2 relies heavily on how much you liked the first one and if you can stand another near-two hours with the Zoolander character. It’s baffling people find him funny – hearing nails down a chalkboard is more entertaining than listening to his insipid babble for an entire film.
Zoolander 2 rates a 2 out of 10