Zoolander 2 – comedy / sequel film review
I’m just going to jump straight in and tell you that I loved this movie. And if you’re a fan of Zoolander I say – watch it. But there are some warnings to my loud and proud exclamation:
I watched in the cinema. And I can’t be the only person who thinks they’ve enjoyed a film more than they did because of a ‘good atmosphere’ inside the cinema.
This usually leads to me looking stupid (more so than usual) because I tell everyone how GREAT the film was and how we MUST watch it as soon as possible and then we watch it and I realise it’s actually not that good.
Most recently this happened with 22 Jump Street – which I initially thought was funnier than the original which obviously it isn’t. And more embarrassingly – After Earth – an M. Night. Shyamalan movie made after 1999.
What the fuck was going through my mind as I watched Jaden Smith ‘take a knee’ I’ll never know, but I cried – for all the wrong reasons. I actually bought it on dvd (at CHART PRICE!) and it was only as I watched it at home with my horrified boyfriend that I realised how far out my “sooo good!” claims had been.
So yeah, sitting in a cinema full of Zoolander fans, on Valentine’s Day, laughing and spitting out popcorn (that did happen once), it’s probably easier to be charmed.
I had low expectations.
Despite being an unashamed fan of the original Zoolander and having faith (as I always do) in the Ben Stiller / Owen Wilson dream team, I did read lots of poor reviews and I knew it would be a hard film to sequel-ize. Sometimes comedy sequels get too wrapped up with plot lines, which doesn’t always work out as well as just a bunch of funny situations.
So yeah I did have low expectations but that wasn’t such a bad thing. Because as Yazz once sung – The Only Way Is Up.
I. LOVE. ZOOLANDER. And even if the sequel was gonna be shit, I was never going to miss it either.
I can’t remember the exact first time I watched Zoolander but I loved it, got obsessed with it, built my life around it and the rest is history.
My brother is a big fan too, so it’s given us something to watch together over the years. There’s a thirteen year age gap between us but happily we’ve always bonded over a love of movies and particularly, a love of Zoolander, which no-one else ever really understood.
So there is nostalgic value for me too and even if the film had been a bit rubbish, I’d still have said something good about it.
Speaking of which, now I’ve droned on in my usual fashion shall I talk about Zoolander 2 now, the film I’m supposed to be reviewing. That would be nice wouldn’t it.
Fifteen years after opening The Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good, Derek and Hansel are now old and past it. But still dumb and wearing odd clothes.
They’re mocked by hipsters but reluctantly agree to join a fashion show in Rome, in the hope of reuniting Derek with his estranged son.
Whilst in Rome they get embroiled with spy / agent / lady with big boobs Valentino Valencia (Penelope Cruz) who is investigating why celebrities keep getting murdered whilst pulling the Blue Steel pose. Genius I know! (that wasn’t sarcasm).
And can I just say the Justin Bieber ‘death selfie’ scene was really funny and he came across as a good sport bless him.
But the actual story of Zoolander 2 doesn’t matter that much anyway. It’s the gags, dialogue and celebrity cameos (yay!) that make it so more-ish and the highest praise I can give this film is to say that it felt like Zoolander.
The jokes, the cameos and popular gags brought over from the first movie (two words – Billy Zane) – they all felt right. And if you laughed at the first movie I have no idea how you could not laugh at the second movie. I did have misgivings when I walked through the cinema entrance, but I can honestly say that I laughed from start to finish.
Of course it’s updated for 2016 with stuff like the annoying hipsters and showing how having a very, very big mobile phone is actually far cooler than a very, very small mobile phone. Selfie sticks, plastic surgery etc. But the essence felt the same and Zoolander, Hansel – and indeed the entire cast – was just as likable as they were in 2001.
And being likable is so important. I DID root for Derek who I actually really like and kind of felt sorry for at times.
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson have great chemistry of course but everyone played their part well – Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Benedict Cumberbatch, Penelope Cruz, Keifer Sutherland (ha! Wait to see who he plays) and more on top.
But I’m not going to sit here and try to convince you that Zoolander 2 is a fun film to watch. You’ll either want to see it or you won’t and it doesn’t matter what some bird online says.
The only thing I would say is that this is a sequel for fans of the original. I can’t imagine some new generation of kids enjoying it as much if I’m honest.
And I don’t want to sound annoying here (okay, maybe a little) but you either get Zoolander…..or you don’t.