The absolutely ridiculous cult-classic from over 15 years ago has made its triumphant return in an even more outlandish and absurd sequel… and I loved every minute of it! No one should be expecting anything less than that was expected from the first silly-humored Stiller/Wilson genre film of 1999. The majority of the cast has come back in exact form never skipping a beat. While much time has passed, ZOOLANDER 2 feels organic and natural even with the apparent age differences in the actors. The movie is nothing more, nothing less, than exactly what any fan of the original should be anticipating. ZOOLANDER 2 is zany, outrageous, unbelievable, damn right immature, and yet nothing that it should be faulted for being.
ZOOLANDER wasn’t a film I gravitated to when it came out. I was probably in the perfect age bracket at that time, but found its Naked Gun style humor at times to be nonsensical. It was as if I was past that humor, but after multiple viewings I have fallen in love with just that! This genre isn’t for everyone, and can be a huge miss much of the time for people that like this sort of thing. However, ZOOLANDER 2 and its numerous writers have succeeded on providing the right amount of ridiculousness, nostalgia, and true laugh-out-loud humor that the movie never felt stale.
We begin with an odd opening chase sequence featuring on of the many cameos of the film. Here a celebrity death will lead the intelligence agency Interpol into a new investigation with Derick Zoolander at the heart of it. After an over-budgeted title sequence, the audience is treated to a montage of events via fake newscasts taking off from where the last movie left off. Here the audience gets a quick reminder of who Derick Zoolander (Ben Stiller) is and what has happened mainly with is character ever since. It’s a perfect reminder of how much time has actually past and places a timeline true to real time. There are many very important and hilarious events that take place in this made up timeframe, many of which I want to say and are probably available on other reviews, but I don’t want to ruin any of it. Fortunately Derick Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good from this first film plays an integral part to the sequels plot.
Zoolander has been in hiding in a remote cabin; his former friend and fashion icon Hansel (Ownen Wilson) has also disappeared due to a “tragic” accident to his face blamed on Zoolander to the uninhabitable, uncharted Malibu, depicted as a desert wasteland. Both wind up receiving an invitation to Rome’s biggest fashion show by today’s biggest fashion sensation NAME (Kristen Wig) via a Princess Leia hologram type message and end up running into each other and rekindling their friendship. While there an Interpol agent played by the hotter than ever Penelope Cruz into a new ludicrous mission. Once made a fooled of, the washed up fashion models must come together to stop the evil Mugatu (Will Ferrell) from killing Zoolander’s teenage son who is possibly the last descendant of “Steve”, an unknown brother of Adam and Eve in a quest for everlasting life. Yep, you have read correctly. And this only scratches the surface of the downright absurdity in this movie.
The movie does start a bit ‘laggish’ and perhaps even awkward. It definitely took a bit of warming up and several unfunny jokes before I found myself getting into it or even trusting the movie could be a solid flick. The film seems to become more comfortable with itself once we meet new hipster fashion designer Don Atari (Kyle Mooney) where the movie begins to deliver endless one-liners and comedic gold.
ZOOLANDER 2 focuses a great deal of its time with how Zoolander and Hansel have become washed up and near forgotten in the fashion world where they are quickly teased of their old styles and 90’s slang. It’s definitely a subplot that has been done countless times before, but it never felt repetitive here as the filmmakers and writers went about it correctly. It’s not the focus of the film and feels entirely appropriate for where we find the main characters at the beginning of the movie. The film benefits from featuring these two within our world as if they have built a folklore of these two being factual fashion super models.
Stiller and Wilson are at their best, though their best being how they were in the first ZOOLANDER. Will Ferrell is more delightful than ever who I think really shines in this one. Kristen Wig was probably the most annoying with purposely done ugly aging makeup and a terribly stupid accent that I found no one laughing at. Good idea, but I feel fell flat. Penelope is herself and is complimented well due to the lack of Zoolander’s real-life wife Christine Taylor. Cameos are abundant and are clearly seen as bigger support from the top-class actors of Hollywood.
I found myself truly enjoying my trip down memory lane with an all new storyline and superior line-up of comedic scenes. I realize a movie that creates such a cult following such as ZOOLANDER can never deliver a sequel with the same stamina, but ZOOLANDER 2 is a perfect compliment to the first film. Never should one go in expecting the greatest movie of the year, whilst hilarious, it’s still outrageous, though outrageously fun. Fans of the original shouldn’t be disappointed and those not as familiar should still be entertained.