Zoolander 2 (2016)

Zoolander 2 (2016)
  • Time: 100 min
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Director: Ben Stiller
  • Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Penélope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell, Susan Sarandon


Derek and Hansel are modelling again when an opposing company attempts to take them out from the business.


  • If you happen to Youtube “Do the light skin face”, you will see a face that you might know by another name. One that is way more politically correct at that as well. I am not sure when this new “light skin face” video first popped up and started making it around the internet but for sure, it was token way after the birth of the aforementioned second name that I know it by. What is this second name that I speak of? Blue Steel and baby its back in action in Zoolander 2!

    Ben Stiller returns both in front of and behind the camera for Zoolander 2, a comedy that finds the beloved model Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and his rival-turned-partner Hansel (Owen Wilson) facing a threat to their continued success.

    When you walk into any retail fashion store, there is only one thing you actually care for and that is the clothes. Yes, you might want some great customer service and want the clothes to be presently nicely but ultimately, it is the clothes that brought you into the store.

    So, lets use that same concept with Zoolander 2. The story line is the clothing rack, the customer service are the actors and the clothes are the jokes. The clothing rack is more intricate than the clothing rack of the 2001 film as Penélope Cruz’ Valentina recruits our two stars to help her track down a villain who is killing off pop stars. Interesting and all but this clothing rack lacks the novelty that the film film was able to bring.

    As for the customer service, Zoolander, Hansel and Mugatu are all back and bring the laughs and looks that we remembered from the first film. There are tons of celebrity cameos to entertain fans from Justin Bieber to Sting to Benedict Cumberbatch. Customer service is usually plays a huge part in why a customer returns to a store and fans will not be disappointed with the customer service given in Zoolander 2. Will there be a third installment? Not sure how the studio will be able to pull that off but fans will for sure be coming back for it regardless.

    We all came for the clothes (jokes) and perhaps, like myself, came to see Blue Steel back in action. Just like the fashion industry, a lot of the jokes within Zoolander 2 have been recycled from the original film. from catch phrases to old characters, everything is back and they hit at much lesser rate.

    Does this mean you won’t have fun watching Zoolander 2? Absolutely not because the film is saved by great customer service.

  • Quickie Review:

    Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) now lives as a hermit after losing his wife and custody of his son. When he receives an invitation to a fashion show, he sees an opportunity to go back to the life he once knew and reconnect with his lost son. Little does he know (and he knows very little), there is a bigger conspiracy at work that threatens his life. Zoolander 2, is every bit as stupid and silly as its original thanks to the returning cast who continue to make you laugh with their eccentricities. Yet if you are looking for fresh new additions to the franchise, aside from some hilarious cameos, you will be sorely disappointed. This sequel is more of the same, and if that doesn’t bother you then Zoolander 2 might be worth a watch. Otherwise, wait till it’s out of the cinemas.

    Full Review:

    The original Zoolander is a movie that I love the more I watch it. It was such weird and stupid concept that everything about it made me laugh. I can still quote most of the scenes from the movie, that’s how much it has stuck with me. So of course a sequel had me excited, and while I enjoyed it, there’s something missing.

    My biggest fear about this movie was whether I’d be accepting Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson coming back to their roles after 15 years. I didn’t want to see another Dumb and Dumber Too situation where it looks like they are desperately trying too hard. Thankfully, the returning cast including Will Ferrell are perhaps the best part of the movie. They all slipped into their roles like a fashionable glove. I was instantly on board to follow them in their silly adventures just because of them. Aside from the returning cast, I think the thing that most people will enjoy and remember are some of the very well placed cameos. This movie is littered with celebrity cameos, most that will go by unnoticed. However, the few that have a bigger spotlight have great impact in making some laugh out loud moments. I will leave that for you to find out.

    I do still understand why there has been such strong negative response to the movie. The main issue is that Zoolander 2 relies too much on fan nostalgia. Which inevitably means repeated jokes and gags. Fan service is nice in moderation, but there are scenes where you do feel like it’s depending on the viewers to know the inside joke. That’s not to say that the movie doesn’t try anything new. There are new cast members such as Penélope Cruz and Kristen Wiig, but neither are very well used. Cruz couldn’t always deliver the comedic moments and Wiig’s character while funny is ultimately cast aside once Ferrell comes into the movie. On top of that the story gets a little convoluted with Zoolander’s father-son subplot alongside a conspiracy that is not revealed until the very end. The first Zoolander had a very simple story concept, which made the stupidity of it all work. In the sequel that story gets too complex for its own good.

    Zoolander 2 is not for everyone, and even some fans of the original might be disappointed. Sure it did not live up to my expectations, but I still found myself mostly entertained. The novelty is no longer there and that’s perhaps its biggest weakness. Still if you are fine with revisiting some familiar comedic moments, I think you will get some enjoyment out of this one.

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  • “I miss not knowing things with you,” Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) confesses to friend and former rival Hansel (Owen Wilson). I, for one, miss now knowing a world where Zoolander 2 never existed.

    Fifteen years have passed since Zoolander unleashed his “Blue Steel” and blissful ignorance upon the world and, whilst it gained much cult love on DVD since its release, this is neither a film nor a character whose absence has made the heart grow fonder. Was anyone actually wondering where the “really, really ridiculously good-looking” male model has been all this time? For the curious, Derek retreated into self-imposed exile after the Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff literally fell to pieces, killing his wife Matilda (Christine Taylor) and disfiguring Hansel, who has taken to wearing a half-mask and having group sex when not meditating on the dunes of Malibu.

    The brain cell-sharing dolts are dragged back into the fashion world by Valentina Valencia (Penelope Cruz), a special agent with Interpol’s Global Fashion Division who believes Derek may be the one person in the world who can help her solve the mystery of who is killing the most beautiful people in the world. The only clue to be had is the final pose each celebrity strikes before their death, a pose Valentina mistakes as “Blue Steel” but is actually one Derek deployed to sell “Aqua Vitae.” The product’s commercial, featuring Naomi Campbell and a half-man, half-cow Derek, makes just as much sense as Zoolander 2’s actual plot.

    Derek is reluctant, but agrees to help Valentina in exchange for her aid in tracking down his son Derek Jr. (Cyrus Arnold), whom he lost to child services after his parental skills were found to be unsurprisingly lacking. His son just so happens to be in Rome, where Derek and Hansel arrived upon the behest of fashion empress Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig), a trout-lipped, leather-faced creature who never met a vowel she couldn’t torture. As if there aren’t enough plot points that we could care less about, Stiller and co-writers Justin Theroux, John Hamburg, and Nicholas Stoller decide to throw in some Da Vinci Code nonsense about eternal youth, bloodlines, and the chosen one.

    The film’s biggest mistake, apart from existing in the first place, is delaying the appearance of Derek’s nemesis, Mugatu. For one thing, Will Ferrell is ridiculously funny and, for another thing, he is the one constant source of laughs in this deeply unfunny film. Ferrell is also the only one who seems to be having any fort of fun in this film. Everyone else is as flat and lackluster as the movie which, for the most part, feels as if it had lost its will to live.

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  • Way back in 2001, Ben Stiller’s original Zoolander was little more than an extended Saturday Night Live sketch, stretched out for 90 minutes of hit-and-miss comedy. Despite the wafer-thin premise of lampooning the fashion industry and the shallow celebrities who inhabit it, there was a clumsy charm about it and much fun to be had with its loose, zany approach. 15 years on and Stiller delivers a sequel that nobody was really asking for, and the movie’s awareness of the first’s quotable, make-it-up-as-we-go-along dialogue and unapologetic daftness is ultimately its downfall. That, and being painfully unfunny.

    The movie’s opening sequence informs us that Derek Zoolander’s Centre for Kids who Can’t Read Good and Wanna Learn to do Other Stuff Good Too collapsed in a disaster after being built using the same materials used to build the small-scale model, killing his wife Matilda (Christine Taylor) and damaging the beautiful face of his old friend Hansel (Owen Wilson). His child is eventually taken away from him when his parental skills are called into question, so Zoolander retreats into the frozen wasteland of New Jersey and turns his back on the fashion industry. Hansel has also retired, choosing instead to spend his time in the deserts of Malibu with his orgy of 11 fellow sex fiends, all of whom he has impregnated (including Kiefer Sutherland).

    When Billy Zane arrives with their Neflix orders, he persuades them to return to the catwalk for ultra-hip designer Don Atari (Kyle Mooney), an annoying yet on-the-nose hipster who hates stuff because he loves them and vice versa. This is not the only plot thread in this convoluted mess of a film, as the tale of Zoolander braving a return to the world he feels he no longer has a place in was the exact same plot as the first film. We also have new villain Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig), the return of Mugatu (Will Ferrell), Interpol agent Valentina Valencia (Penelop Cruz) who is tracking Zoolander and Hansel to help investigate the murders of music celebrities, some mythological nonsense about the Fountain of Youth, and the horrifying revelation that Zoolander’s now-teenage son is, yes, fat and ugly.

    It took four writers – Stiller, Justin Theroux, Nicholas Stoller and John Hamburg – to pen the movie and 15 years to think about it, and a tedious merry-go-round of re-hashed jokes, shoehorned celebrity cameos and eye-rolling innuendos (“Jack Ryan and Jack Reacher? Tonight is gonna be a total Jack-off!”) is quite unbelievably the best they could come up with. By the time Mugatu arrives and the climax kicks into gear, you’ll still be waiting for everything to somehow make sense. Up to this point, the most fun there is to be had is trying to spot all the famous faces (the funniest and most bizarre is a barely recognisable Benedict Cumberbarch) while Zoolander is left scratching his head trying to integrate into a world now so overcome by self-obsession. To make this point, we are made to suffer through endless social media gags that feel like the ramblings of a man trying desperately to fit in with the cool crowd. Even if you love the original, avoid at all costs.

    Rating: 1/5

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  • There is precedent for this (said the reviewer of a movie released over President’s Day Weekend). A silly comedy comes out, but the silliness is actually funny, it’s appreciated by both critics and audiences, the film remains alive in the memories of its fans (and/or gains a cult following over the years) and, about 10-20 years after the original, a sequel finally comes along. The update takes the main characters forward in their lives and gives them a new story, but doesn’t change who they are as people, in spite of the passage of time. Fans get more laughs at the expense of the same intelligence-impaired characters, with subtle and not-so-subtle shout-outs to the original, but in an updated story that’s designed to give the patient fans of the original a fresh experience, while also (hopefully) appealing to younger audience members. Then, most people (again, critics and audiences alike) decide that the long-awaited sequel falls short of expectations, but yours truly likes the sequel – maybe even more than the original. Yup, that’s the story of the “Anchorman” films (with about 9 ½ years between them) as well as the “Dumb and Dumber” movies (just a month under 20 years between the Jim Carey – Jeff Daniels original and its sequel). 2016’s “Zoolander 2” (PG-13, 1:42) splits the difference, arriving in theaters 15 years after “Zoolander”. So, will history repeat itself? Do the aforementioned patterns apply here? Pretty much.

    15 years after the original hit theaters, “Zoolander 2” (also called “Zoolander No. 2” and “2oolander”) picks up about 10 years after the first one left off. A montage of news clips at the beginning of the film brings us up to date: Dimwitted, arrogant and selfish, but well-meaning male supermodel Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) has lost his wife to a building collapse which also scarred the face of his rival-turned-friend Hansel (Owen Wilson). Derek blames himself for both and then loses custody of his son for being an unfit parent. Consequently, both Derek and Hansel are “out of fashion” (a phrase used in the movie, with it’s a clever double-meaning). Both men are living in relative seclusion. Derek is alone in a cabin in “Extreme Northern New Jersey” (looking more like the Arctic Circle), while Hansel is living with his “Orgy” of about a dozen… mammals in the “Uncharted Territories of Malibu” (strongly resembling the Arabian Desert). Breaking them out of their respective funks are some serious personal issues – and the offer of a modeling gig that could mean a comeback for these two supremely beautiful people.

    Like most silly sequels of silly movies, this film’s plot is a little more complicated than it had to be, but it did keep me engaged. Billy Zane (as himself) brings both Derek and Hansel a note and a hologramic (hologram-like? hologrammy? ) message from fashion maven Alexanya Atoz (an unrecognizable Kristen Wiig, made up like someone who has had a couple dozen too many Botox treatments, dressed as if huge gaudy Easter dresses keep exploding all over her, and talking with a very ostentatious and muddled European-like accent). She asks both Derek and Hansel to appear in her upcoming fashion show in Rome. Both former models are reluctant to come out of retirement, but Derek sees Alexanya’s offer as a chance to show himself to be responsible and maybe get his son back, and Hansel sees an opportunity to flee his emotionally suffocating Orgy group. So… it’s off to new adventures in the Eternal City! But there’s a lot more going on here than a simple trip or two down the catwalk. Regarding the fashion show, I’ll just say that it’s not quite what Derek and Hansel hoped it would be, but it does put them in contact with Alexanya’s hot young designer, Don Atari (a very funny Kyle Mooney), it does get them back in the game and it also forces them to cross paths with their mutual nemesis from the first film, fashion designer Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell). Two people who are surprised to see Derek in Rome are Derek’s tween son, Derek Jr. (Cyrus Arnold), who happens to live in an orphanage in Rome, plus an Interpol officer and former swimsuit model named Melanie Valentina (Penélope Cruz). Derek Jr. wants nothing to do with his father (and Derek feels the same way when he first reunites with his son). Valentina, on the other hand, needs Derek’s help to crack the case of the murders of several famous musicians who all recently died in Rome with what looks like Derek’s “Blue Steel” look on their faces.

    Yeah, “Zoolander 2” does pretty much fit the template that I described in my opening paragraph. Much like the original movie (and “Anchorman 2”), there are more cameos than you can count (including musicians, movie stars, fashion designers and even one world-famous scientist) and they’re very well-executed. Derek and Hansel are as comically dumb as ever and the mix of double-entendres, over-the-top sight gags and ridiculous dialog and situations kept me laughing. As star, director and co-writer, Stiller gives us a sequel that remains true to his 2001 version and is fairly entertaining on its own.

    Now, if you’re waiting for a sequel to “A Night at the Roxbury” (almost 10 years old)… don’t hold your breath. That one didn’t garner many positive audience or critical reactions. Of course, stranger things have happened, but a better bet would be a “Napoleon Dynamite” sequel. The original came out in 2004 and it has audience and critics approval ratings above 70% on RottenTomatoes.com. (“Napoleon the 2nd” anyone?) Either way, for now, I’ll say that I did like “Zoolander No. 2” well enough that it didn’t make me think of (ahem) “No. 2”. I even liked it a little more than the original… and the numbers I’ve seen indicate that most people disagree with me. Oh, well. I’m giving “2oolander” a “B”.

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