Movie Reviews

Welcome Back (Zoolander 2 Review)

Once the world’s most famous male models, Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) are old news, in fact, they’re a source of amusement. The hottest supermodel on the circuit now is an androgynous-looking model who goes by the name of All (Benedict Cumberbatch). They’re disheartened, but that changes when they’re contacted by Interpol agent named Valentina (Penélope Cruz). She wants to recruit Derek and Hansel to help her find the criminal mastermind who is killing the world’s most beautiful people. The male models are thrilled to be asked to infiltrate the world of high fashion, but Valentina comes to question her decision when she sees their methods.

You don’t often see sequels to a film that came out 15 years ago but here is Zoolander 2 anyway. I was a fan of the first film and I had a friend who was an even bigger fan of it. After all this time, I actually forgot about the first film for a while until I heard that they were making a sequel. I was actually kind of skeptical when I heard about the second film because I didn’t think it was necessary and I was unsure about where they would go with it. Now Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and Hansel (Wilson) are washed up male models and a laughing stock within the fashion community. Their fortunes soon change once they are contacted by an Interpol agent named Valentina (Cruz). She recruits them to help her find whoever is responsible  for the killing of the world’s most beautiful people. Now Derek and Hansel must try to infiltrate the fashion world. I found the first film to be very funny and original when it was first released. The writing was very smart in that most of the comedy centered on the stupidity of Zoolander and male models in general. The plot was clear in that (spoilers but the film came out 15 years ago so I’m not sure why I’m doing this) Derek was being brainwashed by the evil Mugatu (Will Ferrell) to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia (end spoilers). This new film, I found, borrows a lot from the first in that it still draws its comedy based on male model stupidity, primarily Zoolander’s. So this doesn’t really bring much more to the table but maybe chalk that down to nostalgia but I didn’t mind this as it still somewhat worked for me. An argument for laziness can be made but I found the majority of the jokes to be funny. I thought the film was quite silly tone-wise but it didn’t always work for me. One thing I didn’t like about this film was that the plot wasn’t clear at first and was a little all over the place and maybe it’s because of reintroducing the characters after the 15 years but I found the film to be a little slow at the start as well.I will say that the film got better during the final two thirds as things became clearer. I thought Stiller and Wilson were still great together and their chemistry was still fun to watch. Will Ferrell’s Mugatu (this isn’t a spoiler since he’s in the trailers) was very funny here as well. Cruz was okay as Valentina despite not doing much here. I didn’t really understand Kristen Wiig’s character, Alexanya Atoz. She just seemed wasted here as her character just seemed to be unnecessarily eccentric. There also are a lot of cameos here, some people didn’t like them but I didn’t mind. Overall, this film borrows a lot from the first Zoolander film but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I didn’t like as much but it’s still good.

Score: 7/10

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