Director: Ben Stiller
Cast Headliners : Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penelope Cruz
Original Release Date : February 12th, 2016
The original Zoolander was very much a film of its era of the late 90s/early 00s. Packed with cameos of relevant celebs of the day and having a zany attitude, set of jokes, and colorful fashion aesthetic it definitely stands as one of Ben Stiller's silliest and best in his repertoire. Now a sequel in Zoolander No.2 has arrived, and it mostly carries on from the good aspects of that, Blue Steel included.
The film nicely takes into account the gap since the previous release within the world. After the events of the first film, Derek Zoolander(Ben Stiller, also in the director's chair again) has become secluded in the hilariously desolate icy wilds of “extreme Northern New Jersey” after the death of his wife Matilda(Christine Taylor) and distancing from his son Derek Jr(Cyrus Arnold). Billy Zane (yes, himself as himself) gathers him and his old rival/friend Hansel (Owen Wilson) to attend Don Atari(Kyle Mooney)'s show in Rome and their careers and the film's comedic adventures begin again. Simultaneously, the world's most good looking people are being murdered (including a demise of Justin Bieber that's worth the price of admission) and Interpol agent Melanie Valencia(Penelope Cruz) seeks the help of the supermodel duo.
If this all sounds a little messy, it's because it is. The movie's plot is, as with the first, all over the place with its melding of fashion, comedy, and action. The cast is huge, bringing back pretty much EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER EVER from the first film aside from Derek/Hansel, including Mugatu(Will Ferrell) and his assistant Todd(Nathan Lee Graham) and more that have to be seen. This also includes cameo roles whether in character such as the wacky new additions as villainous Alexanya (Kirsten Wiig), the assistant VIP (Fred Armisen), or as themselves in hillarious and surprisingly meaningful turns by Kiefer Sutherland and Sting and more that have to be witnessed first hand. There's a lot of moments that showcase these cameos for comedic effect and one's enjoyment of the cameo parade is up to them.
But if one seeks the core “plot”, it's a decent silly time as well. Without a doubt out of the sea of characters Stiller's, Wilson's, and Ferrell's turns definitely are the best. They seem to have walked right off the screen of the first installment and have many great lines and moments. Their unique wacky personalities and moments are still here, although it must be said that a large portion of jokes (although not the majority) are just remixes or references to the fact of the same jokes from the old one. When the jokes are taken to the next level, they're humorous, but sometimes the audience may feel deja vu. That's not to say there aren't funny bits of new material as well.
Essentially the film is just a parade of the same wacky classic characters, colorful silly aesthetic , and celeb cameo moments one would expect out of the sequel that this is. It doesn't break major new ground and its short and thin plot holds it back from the originality of the first one. But if one liked that one, this is some overall pretty decent dumb laughs. 7.7 out of 10