Title: Zoolander 2
Release Date: February 12, 2016
Studios: Paramount Pictures
Director: Ben Stiller
Release Format: Theatrical
Zoolander 2 brings back everyone’s favorite idiot male models in another film full of hilarious and cringe-worthy moments. Just like in the first Zoolander, Derek and Hansel are called upon to help save the world with their ridiculously good looks and idiotic charm. This sequel certainly stands out in its own right, but the fact remains – if you love the first film, you will love Zoolander 2.
This movie doesn’t stray from the classic Zoolander formula too much. It brings back many of the same themes and almost all of the same characters. However, I can understand why Stiller would keep much of the second film the same. He is targeting the audience that already knows and loves Derek Zoolander, people who have watched the first film dozens of times and still regularly quote lines from it.
Zoolander 2 does an excellent job of moving the new story along. It also explains how Zoolander and his associates ended up in their current situation. For example, even though Penelope Cruz plays Zoolander’s new love interest, the film keeps Derek’s former wife Matilda in mind throughout the process. The film makes sure that the audience understands why she is no longer around. And of course, it keeps the important characters – Zoolander, Hansel, Mugatu – intact.
Stiller plays Zoolander perfectly, as he always has. In Zoolander 2, Derek is struggling through being a single parent to his son, Derek Jr., as well as the decline of his modeling career. While this might not be a situation we would have ever pictured Derek Zoolander in, Stiller does a great job of showing how Zoolander’s character changes throughout this sequel. He is adapting to learn how to become better (although, unfortunately, not smarter).
Even as Stiller is clearly the standout from the film, Owen Wilson (reprising his role as Hansel) offers some truly hilarious moments as well. In particular, moments when Stiller and Wilson are able to fully interact offer the best comedic moments, just as in the first Zoolander. Will Ferrell returning as Mugatu is another fantastic addition. Mugatu makes the perfect villain. He somehow manages to get his way due to his intelligent but ridiculous schemes. The other notable villain, Kristen Wiig, actually rather disappointed me. While she had a few funny moments, she is overshadowed by the other characters. She is especially overshadowed by Mugatu when he reemerges. As for Cruz, she fits in well with Zoolander and Hansel but is again overshadowed by their larger, more vibrant characters. Derek Jr., played by Cyrus Arnold, is believable as Zoolander’s son. He offers a few poignant moments with Stiller. These moments give the film more depth than it otherwise would have had.
The rest of the cast is made up of various celebrities, including Billy Zane (returning as Zoolander’s confidant), Ariana Grande, Benedict Cumberbatch, Katy Perry, Fred Armisen, Kiefer Sutherland, Sting, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and many more. The opening action sequence notably features Justin Beiber, who actually kicks off events in Zoolander 2 with a selfie he posts before an untimely death. Having a cast of celebrities is something the Zoolander films share in common. It’s a way of making fun of the famous and their status that really works well. Overall, this sequel presents a fairly well-balanced cast of characters to boost Zoolander and Hansel’s hilarity to new heights.
Zoolander 2 flows cleanly, moving through the story and different scenes with ease. The cinematography is well-done, although not exceptionally different in any way. The film seems to rely more on the beautiful landscapes of where the characters are, rather than trying to get any unique camera angles. There are a few awkward pauses in scenes. These are drawn out purposefully to produce cringe-worthy or funny moments. In fact, some characters are in the film solely for that reason, namely Armisen’s character Vip or Kyle Mooney as designer Don Atari. These pauses are important for the movie. Scenes can go by quickly without these small moments of breathing room. Zoolander’s brand of comedy can often be fast-paced. Stiller does a good job of trying to balance the different kinds of jokes throughout the movie.
Some might say that Zoolander 2 is random to the point of confusion. However, the movie seems to have a few main themes from which they base their jokes, which is typical of the style of a Zoolander movie. And if you haven’t seen the first Zoolander, I wouldn’t recommend watching the sequel. This movie is for fans of Derek Zoolander, and the amount of inside jokes scattered throughout the film prove that.
Zoolander 2 is a genuinely funny film. It brings all the things people love about Derek Zoolander and his friends. While the story follows similar patterns in the first film, this sequel has incorporated several new ideas. This includes the development of Zoolander’s relationship with his son. All I can say in conclusion is this – Ben Stiller never disappoints. And that Hansel, so hot right now.
- Acting: Stiller gives yet another great performance. Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell also give fantastic performances; these three actors play off of each other well and produce truly hilarious moments. Cyrus Arnold as Derek Jr. is believable and offers a deeper side to this film.
- Cinematography: Overall the camera work is very well done. However, the film seems to rely more on the beautiful vistas it is capturing rather than any unique techniques or angles.
- Story: The story flows well and moves along fairly quickly, with an interesting enough plot, but the movie’s focus on comedic timing is more important than the storyline itself.
- Characters: Derek Zoolander is the star of this film, and for the right reasons. He is one of the few characters that changes throughout the duration of the movie. However, all the other characters are well written and funny in their own way; even the celebrities involved contribute well.
- Ben Stiller's Performance
- Truly Hilarious Moments
- Some Depth In Story From Zoolander And His Son
- Some Characters Overshadowed
- Similar Plot To First Film
Meghan is an amateur gamer, J.R.R. Tolkien fanatic and self-proclaimed otaku. She hopes to become the author of her own fantasy novel one day, and loves to talk about everything from comic books to Criminal Minds.