In recent years Ben Stiller has taken a step a side from the comedy genre and explored some other genres of film. In 2013 we got his remake of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ which is probably my favourite film of his to date. Just last year Stiller also starred in ‘While We’re Young’ and whilst I wasn’t a fan many others were. So just as we were typecasting Stiller he hit back, but would returning to a 15 year old character be a good idea? ‘Zoolander 2’ was a risky move and I’m afraid it really didn’t pay off.
The biggest problem with ‘Zoolander 2’ is simply it’s utter stupidity. Of course we all know that Derek Zoolander isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed but whilst 15 years ago his idiocy was somewhat humorous now it’s just irritating and inconsistent. Unfortunately the stupidity doesn’t stop with Derek as the plot to the film was just so ridiculous too. It’s really such a mess as all we get here is bizarre storylines pieced together with unfunny gags and degrading cameos. The film’s budget must have been completely blown on getting the massive amount of a-list celebrities involved as the number here could rival that of ‘Entourage’. However, unfortunately for those celebrities starring and the film the vast majority of these are truly awful. You’ll have seen some already in the trailers such as Benedict Cumberbatch. Whilst he tries his best here and does provoke a slight chuckle this is quickly forgotten due to what follows, a real WTF moment which I really didn’t expect this star of ‘Sherlock’, ‘The Imitation Game’ & ‘Black Mass’ to agree to being apart of, leaving me baffled and a little disturbed. I won’t ruin the surprise of the rest for you but you’ll know what I’m talking about if you see the film. One cameo was particularly painful for me as I’m a big fan of said star. I’d really have loved to hear the conversation that lead to their involvement, like honestly it’s so bizarre and embarrassing.
The film tries to address it’s ridiculous nature in it’s finale with a moment of self-awareness however, it’s too little too late and just ends up making itself look sillier that it already did. The humour is attempted to be drawn from these cameos but only works on a couple of occasions. Apart from these the film largely relies on repeated gags from the first film which aren’t funny this time round and just come off as unoriginal. Often you can see the joke being set up a mile off and when the punchline eventually catches up with you it has little to no effect. The majority of the cast from the first film return here; Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell all reprise their roles with a similar result to the first film. Most of the new editions fail to have any impact. Penélope Cruz is cast here for her body and nothing else and Kristen Wiig never gets enough screen time. Wiig’s character Alexanya Atoz, a Russian fashionista, probably had the greatest potential for comedy with her over the top accent always amusing however as I say she’s simply not used enough. The film begins a spy comedy mash up and ends up being some kind of awful Mugatu trip not dissimilar to the ‘Relax’ brain washing from the original.
Returning to ‘Zoolander’ could be the biggest mistake of Stiller’s career. The announcement for a sequel came out of nowhere and there certainly wasn’t anyone asking for it. The results here make this sequel come across as a cheap, poorly produced and unoriginal cash grab. It only makes it all the more disappointing that Stiller seemed to be making more engaging and impressive films until this. Stylised as ‘Zoolander No. 2’, in terms of toilet humour the title is spot on as ‘Zoolander 2’ is a massive number 2!
Rating – 2/10
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