After personal tragedy befalls Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), he goes to live the reclusive life of a hermit (crab). But when Interpol’s Fashion Division are on the lookout for a mysterious figure who kills celebrities, it brings Zoolander back into the world of high fashion – and an awkward reunion with his former rival Hansel (Owen Wilson).
It’s been a long wait but Derek Zoolander has made a triumphant and very welcome return to our screens 10 years after the original. Having been largely ignored during its theatrical run, Zoolander gained its huge cult fanbase from home entertainment platforms. Over the years Zoolander, much like Anchorman, has held a dear place in the hearts of many. With talk of a sequel dangling for years, it came as a welcome relief to finally see a trailer and it looked to have retained that unmistakable magic touch.
Upon seeing the end product it’s safe to say that Zoolander 2 won’t appeal to everyone. In many ways it’s become a victim of its own success with huge anticipation and expectation levelled to a comedy that initially had no-one talking. Any film (especially a comedy sequel) would bow under that sort of pressure and Zoolander 2 is guilty of that to some extent.
The film is funny with a keen eye for satire and sharp wit, mixed effortlessly with cleverly conceived dumb comedy. The essences of the characters have stayed the same and that’s a big positive because they are both so gormlessly loveable. The plot is ridiculous but it does lend itself to some great set-pieces. Where it falters is its inclusion of way too many cameo appearances. It tries too hard at times and practically every scene has a special guest star popping up. Some work well, like Kiefer Sutherland and Sting. Others like Marc Jacobs and Valentino serve the general purpose of the overarching story but others are just tiresome and seem to only date the movie needlessly – Justin Bieber etc.
Regardless of this, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are still brilliant and it’s a joy to see them light up the screen once again. Their rapport is where the success of the film lays, with back and forth, gloriously stupid dialogue positively flowing at every opportunity. Will Ferrell once again steals his scenes as Mugatu and Kristen Wiig is a delight as the tight-faced Alexanya Atoz. Benedict Cumberbatch should have been in this more though.
Zoolander 2 isn’t to everyone’s taste but there is comedic genius to be found at its core. Perhaps like its predecessor, it will be appreciated more as the years roll on. Until then I’d love to see a Zoolander 3 as there’s scope to tell more of this gloriously absurd story. And with Stiller and Wilson on fine form, who doesn’t want another ride along with these chaps? If they drop the need to be so relevant, it will ironically make the story more timelessly enjoyable.
Watch the trailer for Zoolander 2 below:
Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Kristin Wiig, Penelope Cruz, Justin Theroux Director: Ben Stiller Writer: Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg Released By: Paramount Certificate: 12A Duration: 102 mins Release Date: 12th February 2016