Ben Stiller has finally decided to dust off his most iconic character a whopping sixteen years after Derek Zoolander first graced our screens. I’m one of the fourteen people who haven’t seen the first film, but I can’t imagine it’s any worse than this slapdash superfluity.
Zoolander 2 opens, as so many of these Hollywood comedy sequels seem to, with a glossy action scene. Through that gag’s damp punchline, we come to learn that the world’s most beautiful people are being offed, one pre-death Instagram post at a time. Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson), once the world’s most famous male models, must come out of hiding and get to the bottom of these beauty killings.
The paint-by-numbers spy movie plotting serves as little more than a distraction and does nothing to juice up the already low gag count. There are jokes about Zoolander being a stupid person, then a handful of ‘ha, aren’t these guys so old and out of touch!’ lines, a depressingly used (but always game – much to her credit) Penelope Cruz and lots of whizzy whizzy fast bits to cover for the dry patches.
Stiller does a fair job in the lead role as he pouts and buffoons his way around the Italian fashion scene, but he doesn’t give himself anything particularly fresh to do all the same. Possibly most disappointing is the under utilisation of Kristen Wiig, who is given more substantial screen time in this standalone trailer. The joke works way better in those 90 seconds than it ever does in the feature.
There are also a cornucopia of cheap (although probably massively expensive) celebrity cameos. Faces pop up from the world of music, film and fashion, but 90% of them come across as totally lame… or should I say lamé.
Unflattering cameos abound in this shrieky ‘comedy’ sequel from Stiller and co.