In 2001 Derek Zoolander was the world’s top male supermodel. 15 years later, Derek, Hansel and Mugatu are back! This time they will be joined by some really, really, ridiculously good-looking celebrities.
15 years later Ben Stiller is bringing back his character Derek Zoolander, alongside returning cast members Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell. Back in 2001, Zoolander was a little hit and miss, but overall the high points easily outweighed the lows, in what was a hysterical film.
It’s hard to deliver a satisfying encore to that film, which at the very minimum had a relatively new perspective with its characters being a group of dumb male models. Zoolander 2 doesn’t have that freshness working for it, and it has the added challenge of trying to maintain the existing benchmark.
Overall Zoolander 2 doesn’t hold up nearly as well in the comedy stakes, it recycles a few jokes from the original with some added tweaks and it plays on the same concepts which is generally still funny stuff, but the opening two thirds of the film struggle to maintain a good comedic energy and while always humorous, the lack of strong comedic highs are notably missing for long stretches of the film.
Fortunately however it improves for the final act, the payoffs are stronger and the overall zaniness of the film really scales up to give a good blend of comedy and just bizarre amusement. It finishes on a strong note which goes a long way to redeeming a lacklustre opening.
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson jump right back into these roles seamlessly, Stiller is still clearly having a tonne of fun with the role as is Wilson, and they pair have good chemistry as always. Will Ferrell does a lot with not much in terms of material, but every time he’s on screen the film is far better off for it.
Kristen Wiig’s character was equally underwritten as Ferrell’s and while she makes a good contribution to the film, when Ferrell’s around his performance over shadows her. Penelope Cruz is hilariously over the top, from her character’s name (Valentina) to her style and dialogue, she’s the best new additions for the sequel.
For fans of Stiller and the original Zoolander there’s definitely some fun to be found in Zoolander 2, though it’s hard not to walk away feeling a little disappointed. Ultimately however, the final act should leave you with a smile on your face, I’m giving it 6 out of 10 stars.
Zoolander 2 is currently showing in cinemas around Australia.