Is there any point in reviewing this movie? If you liked Zoolander, you’re going to watch it eventually and you’re going to know that, as a sequel, it’s never going to be as good as the original. If you didn’t like Zoolander, then you’d probably choose to undergo a tax audit rather than sit through another one. I have to admit it was seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in the trailer as an eyebrowless, gender non-specific fashion model that got me there. And in that respect, I was not disappointed.
I liked Zoolander when I first watched it. I’m not a fan of the Will Ferrell and Farelly brothers ilk of films, that make something funny (and ultimately warm and fuzzy) of idiocy. There’s something, though, about the deadpan drollness of Ben Stiller’s humour that tickles me and there was so much unexpected silliness in the first film that I couldn’t help but guffaw. It doesn’t hold up so well for repeat watching but the kids and I watched it the other week (after seeing Benedict) and I enjoyed it all over again.
Zoolander 2 uses the same formula but cranks the silliness of the story up several notches and throws in a whole truckload of new characters and cameos by famous people. Some of this works really well – Justin Bieber and Sting are made the most of, Benedict’s character ‘All’ steals the show in his brief scenes – but often it seems a distraction and a way to pad out an overly contrived story line. There are lots of pop culture references to keep Gen Xers happy and some genuinely funny moments but overall the film is a bit of a mess and relies too heavily on the same jokes packaged ten different ways. Having said that, the girls are still quoting from it – “Todd, where’s my goddamn latte!”
Bechdel test – fail