by Scott Hayes
One must wonder why it took so long for Zoolander 2 to come out. Fifteen years is a long time between sequels so the answer includes the following options:
it often takes time to craft the right script;
there’s usually a lot of debate as to whether the story should continue for such a ridiculously hilarious cult classic;
the time delay was integral to the story as the main character now has a teenaged son;
and of course, the star finally became desperate and/or creatively bereft, necessitating a return to the wellspring of something once popular.
You know, such intellectual examination is entirely unnecessary for such a ludicrous affair as this movie. No fan of the first Zoolander will wander into this sequel and consider the reasons why their hero and his sidekick took so long to return.
In point of fact, there was hardly half an audience for the movie’s opening night screening. I suppose that most fans of the dimwit male model were at least smart enough to stay away from something that would in all likelihood trample all over the fondness and mirth sparked from the original 2001 comedy. In that film, Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) fought off a younger rival – Hansel (Owen Wilson) – while fighting off an international conspiracy within the fashion world.
In this film, Zoolander returns to the runway after personal tragedy made him a hermit of sorts. He needs to reunite with his long lost son Derek Jr. (Cyrus Arnold) and team up with Hansel and INTERPOL fashion police agent Valentina Valencia (PenĂ©lope Cruz) to stop an international conspiracy that is seeing some of the world’s most famous people being assassinated, their death masks the spitting images of Zoolander’s famous looks.
Honestly, how does one judge something like this? It is not meant to be a critically acclaimed piece of work except to incite riotous laughter. If you can turn off your brain in such a way as to let Zoolander’s facial and verbal expressions wash over you like a sea-swell of mendacity or a face-mask full of laughing gas, concurrently stupefying and hilarity-making, then good on you. This critic reported a few guffaws, a couple of mild chuckles, and a heaping handful of bemusement, mostly at the bevy of bona fide celebrities who dared to appear in cameos as themselves in mostly brief scenes.
Otherwise, Zoolander 2 is a mostly forgettable endeavour. I speculate that I’ll later regret not heaping the praises on it a little better. Maybe it’s just that the idiot is such a tired clichĂ© in American cinema. Maybe it was all too predictable, even in its unpredictability. Maybe, just maybe it should have come out 10 years ago in order to have been truly effective. I think that it’s more likely that such praise would only give Stiller cause to devise Zoolander 3 and that just can’t happen.
Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, PenĂ©lope Cruz, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, and Cyrus Arnold
Directed by Ben Stiller
Written by Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Stoller, and
Rated: PG for coarse language and violence
Runtime: 102 minutes
Now playing at Cineplex Odeon North Edmonton and Scotiabank Theatres