Blu-ray Review: Zoolander 2: The Magnum Edition

I’m a huge fan of the original Zoolander, and while it wasn’t a huge box office smash, it did well enough and garnered a cult following on DVD to cause rumours of a sequel to sporadically pop up multiple times over the past decade or so. Now, 15 years later, that sequel is now available on Blu-ray, where I have no doubt that it will find a bigger following than it did when it was released in theaters back in February on the same weekend as the blockbuster Deadpool.

The original is filled with memorable quotes, cameos and loads of laugh out loud moments based off the sheer stupidity of the characters involved, and the follow-up is no different. Zoolander 2 is exactly what you want from a comedy sequel that arrives 15 years after its predecessor: it acknowledges the amount of time that’s passed since the first film right off the bat, it ups the amount of celebrity cameos, and it cranks up the stupidity meter to 11 (a level that Derek and Hansel would both likely have problems counting to.)

Both long past their prime as male models, Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) have both left the fashion world behind. Zoolander lost the fire in his face after The Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too collapsed upon itself due to the wrong materials being used during its construction. During the collapse, Derek’s wife Matilda (Christine Taylor) was killed, leaving Derek to raise their son Derek Jr. Upon failing to do that well on any level, Derek Jr. was taken into child services, leaving Zoolander to go into hiding for years.

It isn’t until one of the hottest fashion designers in the world, Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig), requests his presence, alongside Hansel at her next fashion show that Derek realizes he can become a model citizen again (no pun intended) and fight to get custody of his son back. Of course, it’s not that simple, as the world’s biggest pop stars are also being killed off one by one, and in their dying moments they post images of themselves delivering Zoolander’s famous looks. This causes Interpol Agent Valentina Valencia (Penelope Cruz) to recruit Derek and Hansel, and use their return to the fashion world to help track down whoever is behind these killings and bring them to justice.

Stiller and Wilson don’t miss a beat, both falling back into character with ease. While the first film’s focus saw Hansel playing more of a supporting role to Derek, in Zoolander 2 the pair are partners, with both having side stories and lessons of self-discovery that take place along the journey.

The story is a lot of fun and allows for these characters to get into a lot of crazy espionage hijinks that you normally don’t find in your everyday male model movies. There’s no point going into a movie like Zoolander 2 looking for anything other than 100 minutes of incredibly silly and over the top funny moments. Humour is definitely subjective, but can you really go wrong with anything involving Hansel? I mean, he’s so hot right now.

So 15 years after the original, is there still a reason to care about Zoolander and pick this one up? Earth to reader: of course there is! I actually believe that the 15 years between movies helped make Zoolander 2 even more entertaining, as it gives the film an entirely different storytelling vibe from the first film. Stiller said back in 2008 that he wanted to make sure the sequel was “something new and worthy,” of being made, and I believe he accomplished that here. Zoolander 2 is really, really ridiculously good fun, and I already can’t wait to relax and watch it again.

The film looks great in this HD transfer, as Paramount once again nails it with their Blu-ray conversion on both the video and audio front. The picture is sharp, with vibrant colours and an overall pristine look, while the soundtrack, dialogue and sound effects all pour through the speakers as beautifully as one could ask for.

On the special features front it’s unfortunate that there’s no commentary track, as I think it’d be a lot of fun to have Stiller and Wilson give their thoughts on the film throughout, but it just wasn’t meant to be. There’s also no outtakes, which is unfortunate, as I’m sure hilarity broke out on set more than once.

There are a few featurettes that are worth checking out though:

The Zoolander Legacy – This first one sees the cast of the film talking about the character of Derek Zoolander. It’s a nine-minute celebration of the sequel finally seeing the light of day, and fans will enjoy this brief glimpse into the thoughts of the cast.

Go Big or Go Rome – This one is fairly self-explanatory, and by fairly, I mean 100% obvious. The cast talks about shooting in Rome, various hot destinations and the likes. It’s seven minutes in length, and worth checking out.

Lastly, there’s Drake Sather: The Man Who Created Zoolander – This is eight minutes in length, and pays homage to Stiller’s friend, comedian Drake Sather, who passed away. There are clips of his stand-up, and words spoken about him and what he meant to those around him.

Oh, there’s also a Youth Milk Beauty ad, starring Derek Zoolander, which is worth checking out since you’re there anyway.

Paramount Pictures Presents Zoolander 2: The Magnum Edition. Directed by: Ben Stiller. Written by: Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg. Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Farrell, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Wiig. Running time: 101 Minutes. Rating: 14A. Released on Blu-ray: May 24, 2016.

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