By Hutton Jackson
A&E and Online Editor
This article can also be viewed in Issue 10, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (March 3, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue.
After 15 years of waiting, comedians Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson finally team up to reprise their roles as blundering male models Derek Zoolander and Hansel in Zoolander 2.
The film, which is set 15 years after the events of the original, finds both Derek and Hansel in hiding, having abandoned their careers as models. However, when many famous and good-looking people start being mysteriously killed off, the duo is called back into the real world in an attempt to find the perpetrator.
Despite a star-filled cast of comedians, including the likes of Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig, the film suffers from a weak plot and many jokes that fall at. Stiller and Wilson are more annoying than funny and bring relatively nothing new to their roles. It’s like watching your once-favorite athletes fail miserably at the sport they once excelled at 15 years ago. Part of this can be due to writing, which has no excuse for being so bad considering that Stiller and several other writers from the original returned to write the sequel.
Another aspect that brings the film down is the lack of a likeable, level-headed character to balance the duo’s zany antics. In the original this was Christine Taylor’s character of Matilda Jeffries, who does make an appearance, but a very brief one. One can argue it was the writers’ intent for Penélope Cruz’s Valentina Valencia character to fill this role, yet she manages to be uninteresting and at times just as ridiculous as the other two.
Now, many will argue that the original was fairly outrageous in terms of plot as well, yet it’s the combination of bad jokes and an unengaging story that make the more ridiculous aspects of Zoolander 2 feel that much worse. In Zoolander, the absurd and over-the- top aspects helped to add humor to an already comical plot. We relish in Derek’s constant stupidity and how he somehow avoids all the mayhem that occurs around him. In the sequel, these over-the-top shenanigans are essentially the plot and rather than laughing at the dimwitted Derek, one is constantly looking for a reason to care about what is going on.
Ultimately, Zoolander 2 joins films such as last year’s Dumb and Dumber To and Vacation as yet another example of studios and filmmakers attempting to revive and cash in on hit comedies way too late. While some may enjoy seeing Stiller and Wilson’s dopey duo return to the screen, many will be disappointed in a lm that fails to live up to the original.
Zoolander 2 is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence and brief strong language.
I give this movie a 3.5/10.
(Rates on a scale of 1-5, how much Suspense, Humor, Action, Romance, and Kid-friendly material is in the movie)
1- None to Very Little, 2- Little, 3- Average, 4- Much, 5- Very much
S 3 H 5 A 3 R 3 K 2