There’s no real reason for the existence of Zoolander No. 2. The original is a cult classic, having found the bulk of its audience on DVD after a solid (but not overwhelming) box office. Even with the increase in prices at the box office the original managed to outgross the sequel by over 50% with about half the budget. In nearly two decades since the original found a niche audience Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell have managed to go from stars on the cusp to actually being stars …. and then stars on the decline.
Zoolander No. 2 is their attempt at capturing lighting in a bottle again … and maybe one of the worst sequels of 2016 to join its status as in the team picture of worst film of the year.
Simple premise. Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) have been recruited into the CIA by a sexy agent (Penelope Cruz) to get to the center of a mystery. Handsome people are dying and it’s up to the clueless male models to solve the mystery of who’s behind it. It’s an other voyage back into the farcical world of modeling … and for all the potential organic reasons for a sequel to be made nearly 20 years after the original found a small audience there’s nothing original, interesting or noteworthy about this film.
It’s a cheap cash in, nothing more.
The film has none of the goofy charm of the original, feeling like the deliberate and desperate money grab that it sounded like when originally announced. This is a cast mainly going through the motions from old characters ala an aging rock band playing only their hits on tour. For all the evolution in their acting and comedy styles, and their lives, Wilson and Stiller (and to a lesser extent Ferrell) Zoolander No. 2 is a regression. They mail it in repeatedly, trying to run with the same beats as they did way back when but without the same manic energy they brought to the table originally.
It doesn’t help that the script is dull and unimaginative, which is a disappointment considering Stiller wrote it alongside veteran comedy scribes John Hamburg, Nicholas Stoller and Justin Theroux. With that much veteran talent in the room one would expect the film to come off as something more than tone deaf; this is a film that wants to embrace the same comic stylings that were en vogue 20 years ago but without adding anything to them.
Zoolander No. 2 is a sequel long past its relevance date by a cast that’s nearing their expiration date.
Nothing but EPK pieces.
Paramount presents Zoolander No. 2. Directed by Ben Stiller. Written by Ben Stiller, John Hamburg, Nicholas Stoller, Justin Theroux based on character created by Ben Stiller and Drake Sather. Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Will Ferrell. Running length: 101 minutes. Released: May 24, 2016.
Tags: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Will Ferrell, zoolander 2