Fifteen years after the release of the original film in 2001, Derek Zoolander is back, and Ben Stiller follows the formula that made the first Zoolander a critical success. However, in trying too hard to outdo its predecessor, Stiller’s formula doesn’t quite work the second time around.
Zoolander 2 is taken to whole new level of absurdity and chaos. Ex-supermodels Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel McDonald (Owen Wilson) are on their way to a making a comeback after years of seclusion from the fashion world. At the same time, Derek is trying to reconnect with his long-lost son, who to his horror turns out to be fat. Linking these two storylines is Derek’s recruitment by the Italian Interpol (quite literally the fashion police). Derek cooperates with Fashion Interpol to stop the serial killing of celebrities by fashion mogul Mugatu (Will Ferrell), who is after the Fountain of Youth – the blood of the descendent of Steve, the world’s first supermodel. It is a messy storyline, which in its randomness gives the impression that Stiller hopes to tickle his audience by confusing them.
What the film lacks in plot, Stiller makes up for through countless cameo appearances. Zoolander 2 boasts about as many superstar cameo appearances as plot holes. From eyebrow-less Benedict Cumberbatch to the original viral superstar Susan Boyle, the audience practically overdoses on star power. Ironically, the dozens of celebrity cameos are funnier than most of the film’s actual jokes. Perhaps if Stiller spent less of the film’s budget on celebrity appearances and more on a scriptwriter, audiences may have left feeling less disappointed.
However, it is not without saying that Zoolander 2 does not have its moments. Derek’s multiple failed attempts at invoking his Magnum gaze are bound to make audiences roar with laughter. Regrettably though, the good jokes are scattered and overshadowed by the ones which are rather cumbersome.
With mostly weak punchlines and no memorable quotes, there is little that makes Zoolander 2 stand out. The sequel might have all the brainlessness of its precursor, but it lacks the brilliance.
Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures