Zoolander 2, or Zoolander No. 2 took a number 2 on the franchise. Since the first movie is a cult favorite, it was only a matter of time before Ben Stiller made a sequel. Despite growing interest, I didn’t watch Zoolander in time to see Zoolander 2 in theaters. The very negative reception caused me to reconsider. Any minor problems with the original are even worse in the sequel. The tone is set when The Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good collapses, Matilda is killed, Derek loses his son, and Hansel is disfigured. Zoolander eventually pulls himself together by redoing a lot of the same jokes and recreating versions of “Blue Steel.”
Owen Wilson is given a bigger role as Hansel, but the barely funny orgy joke from the first movie is redone to an uncomfortable degree. Despite being married to Stiller, Christine Taylor only cameos as the ghost of Matilda. Instead Penélope Cruz plays sexy Interpol agent Valentina who deals with a new conspiracy. This time it’s pop stars who are being killed because of a convoluted cult seeking the Fountain of Youth. Derek Jr. is a mini Zoolander who ends up stuck in his father’s mess. Will Ferrell eventually returns as an imprisoned Mugatu who was behind everything. Kristen Wiig really earned her Razzie as an over-exaggerated fashion designer.
The first movie broke reality when Zoolander used “Magnum” as a weapon, but the sequel’s climax is absolute nonsense. Though the biggest problem with Zoolander 2 is every celebrity who desperately needed a paycheck. There are more actors, singers, models, and fashion icons than there are funny moments. A brutally murdered Justin Bieber is just the tip of the iceberg. Billy Zane has a much bigger role and Sting replaces David Bowie as the prominently featured aging singer. Fred Armisen’s head is disturbingly placed on a kids body, but the most baffling creative choice is having Benedict Cumberbatch play an androgynous model. Zoolander 2 isn’t what I’d call PC, but it is really, really, really ridiculously bad.
Preceded by: Zoolander