Zoolander 2 (2016)


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:

Warning 1. 

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.

Embarrassingly this happened recently with After Earth – an M. Night. Shyamalan movie made after 1999.

What 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 (at CHART PRICE!) and it was only as I watched it at home that I finally realised how far out my “so good” claims had been.

So yeah, sitting in a cinema full of Zoolander fans laughing and eating popcorn, it’s probably easier to be charmed.

Warning 2.

I had low expectations.

Despite being an unashamed fan of the original Zoolander 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.

Warning 3.

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…


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).


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 into the cinema, but I can honestly say that I laughed from start to finish.

Of course it’s updated for 2016 with stuff like 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 were 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 (HAHA) 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 stranger online says. The only thing I would say is that this is a sequel for fans of the original and 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.


About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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89 Responses to Zoolander 2 (2016)

  1. stephen1001 says:

    Nice review Emma – I was skeptical when I heard there was to be a sequel but the trailer looked pretty funny.
    Good to know it should be approached with the right expectations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmakwall says:

      Exactly, got it in one! I hope you do watch this and enjoy it too! 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words and for reading the review! It is pretty funny, certainly worth watching for fans of the original!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Renate says:

    Ah I’ve been debating whether or not I’m going to watch the first one, is it worth my time? 😀


  3. alexraphael says:

    I love your gonzo style of reviewing. Zoolander is like Napoleon Dynamite. The Marmite of films ha.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haven’t seen either, but if you love it, it must be all right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Derek Zoolander has to be the coolest moron that ever struck a pose for Vogue, the Derelicht campaign, the punters that went to the premiere in Leicester Square. Zoolander is super rad and definitely a film that you either get or don’t get. Morons for life

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beetleypete says:

    Oh dear. You have been so nice to me, and now I have to be nasty about both a film, and the people in it.
    I have to jump right in too, by admitting I couldn’t sit through 10 minutes of the original without wishing I was dead. Ben Stiller is bad enough on his own. Throw Owen Wilson into the mix, and I am running naked down the street, screaming. (Not a good sight…) If I had to show an alien a pictorial definition of talent-less, I might show him a photo of Adam Sandler. If I didn’t have one to hand, then Vince Vaughan or Stiller would do instead.
    I just don’t have the ‘US Comedy gene’. I loved ‘Borat’, maybe because Baron-Cohen is British, even though the jokes are not. I always love anything with Simon Pegg, because I just get it. But mention ‘The Hangover’, or something to do with Stiller, Sandler, and many more I have thankfully forgotten, and my face sets like a Beetley version of Mount Rushmore.
    All the same, I am sure your review is spot on, Em. They usually are.
    Apologies, and I hope you still like the old moaner!
    As ever, Pete. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmakwall says:

      Haha! That’s okay Pete I ALMOST mentioned you in the review as I knew you’d have a few things to say 🙂

      I just need to say though, I hate Adam Sandler too. Like, I actually loathe him. I would hate for people to think I’m an Adam Sandler fan!!!

      And I used to have similar feelings about Will Ferrell too, due to films like Elf or Step Brothers (I have my own level of snobbiness as well Pete!) but I don’t mind him so much now.

      I loved Borat too! And Bruno. But not so much his other movies. I will watch Grimsby for the fun of it, I like Baron-Cohen a lot and I’m a fan of Mark Strong too. From the trailer though….I don’t expect a lot!

      I disagree wholeheartedly with your comments about Stiller, Owen and Vince Vaughn (who I find quite attractive haha!) but I respect your opinion you old moaner!!! Only kidding 🙂 promise! You know I had to say that 🙂

      Oh yeah and Simon Pegg is ace! But he used to be MORE ace. Why are people often better the ‘less’ famous they are?! They get more famous and start getting annoying?

      Thanks for your comment Pete, hope you’re feeling okay! Thanks for taking the time to read it especially not feeling so great xxx


      • beetleypete says:

        Always happy to read your stuff, ill or not. (I think it must be your photo, it draws me in…)

        As for Ferrell, he is high on my shit-list of talent-less no marks too.

        You are dead right about Pegg, Baron-Cohen, and others being much funnier long ago. For instance, I feel Pegg has never bettered his TV series ‘Spaced’, and ‘Ali-G’ was definitely the high water mark for Baron-Cohen. My personal greatest disappointment is reserved for Ricky Gervais. I loved him on TV, and thought that ‘The Office’ was sublime, ‘Extras’ hilarious, and ‘Derek’ a masterpiece. Then he goes and makes all those shitty films in the USA and mugs himself off appearing as a presenter where nobody get his humour. Of course, I blame the Americans, and the studio moguls. They laugh at crap, and don’t appreciate irony.Someone falling over into a pile of dog poo is enough to justify a multi-million budget, but they wouldn’t understand Eddie Izzard if he had subtitles.

        Phew, I feel better after that.
        As ever, Pete. xxx (one extra x this time…)


        • beetleypete says:

          (Of course, it could all be about age, I do appreciate that.)


        • emmakwall says:

          Pete you flatterer! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Sorry I took a while to reply, I knew it would take me a bit longer to reply to this comment!

          I agree about Ricky Gervais though I think he always wanted to be in movies ultimately so I guess it’s his prerogative but they are shitty movies lol and NOTHING will ever be as good as The Office. It’s probably my all time favourite TV show, it’s very rare I can watch and re-watch a comedy programme and still laugh out loud. But with The Office, it’s literally perfect. Even the love story between Dawn and Tim is perfect! I recently bought the scripts (they were ONE PENNY for both on Amazon!) and read them of an evening, they were making me laugh out loud! I love Extras too, though not quite as much as The Office. I wasn’t a huge fan or Derek or Life’s Too Short but that’s okay.

          I *spit* (not literally!) when anyone mentions The ‘American’ Office. BOO!!!! HISS!!! Never seen it but I HATE it. Rational I know! Haha.

          Cracked me up reading “mugs himself off” – LOVE that Pete!!!! 😀

          I always end up disliking people the more famous they become, usually anyway. It’s unfair but I can’t help it! I usually prefer people in their up-and-coming days. Maybe it’s a British thing 🙂

          I know this is a bit random, but do you like the Carry On films?

          Thanks for the extra “x” and how are you feeling now?? xxx


          • beetleypete says:

            I think I liked Derek so much because it wasn’t really a comedy at all, more a serious and sad drama. I spent a lot of time in Old Peoples Homes when I was in the Ambulance Service, and the whole cast got it just right.
            I always had a soft spot for ‘Carry On’ films, mainly the earlier ones. I have seen them all so many times now though, so I don’t watch them so much.
            “Infamy, Infamy, they’ve all got in in for me.” On of my favourite lines…
            And I always liked this actress, for some reason…
            I say a lot of things like ‘mugs himself off,’ must be the Bermondsey Boy inside.
            As ever, Pete. xx (One extra, because you’re cute…x)


            • emmakwall says:

              I love the earlier Carry On films too! My favourite is actually the first one Carry on Sergeant, it’s just a nice British movie rather than a Carry on caper, but I do like some of the later ones too, Carry on Camping, Carry on Doctor, Carry on Screaming – all great! That’s a brilliant line from Carry On Cleo!!!! I also like it when he’s interrupted doing his “friends, Romans…” speech and says “I know!” haha 🙂 xxx P.S I LOVE the phrase ‘mugs himself off’ or “you’re mugging me off’ – any variation is fine!!


            • beetleypete says:

              I always try never to mug myself off if I can help it…Carry on Cabby is a good one too. xxx

              Liked by 1 person

            • emmakwall says:

              You’d NEVER mug yourself off Pete 🙂

              I can’t really remember Carry on Cabby that well but I have seen it. Carry on Jack and Carry on Constable I remember being pretty good too!xxx


            • emmakwall says:

              P.S that actress!!!! Her bosom was RIDICULOUS! That film was so OTT even for Carry On standards!!! xxx


            • beetleypete says:

              I think her boobs were ‘hoisted’ by underwear, but they worked for me! It was a bit lewd though, which is why I prefer the gentler ones. xxx

              Liked by 1 person

            • emmakwall says:

              They were crazy boobs!! Still massive even if there was a little ‘hoist’ action hee hee. I never really liked that one that much to be honest, it was so crude even for Carry On and felt like a cheap sequel.

              I prefer the gentler ones too 🙂 xxx

              P.S how do you feel about On the Buses? Lol.


            • beetleypete says:

              Olive rocks my world. Vinnie doesn’t understand my Olive obsession though.
              I never understood why the girls were supposed to fancy Jack and Stan, they were both a bit past-it for young women by then.
              I liked that series a lot, but thought the films were a mistake. xxx

              Liked by 1 person

            • emmakwall says:

              Do you really have an Olive obsession? 🙂 that’s great!

              I know, Jack and Stan were past it and Jack was hardly the best looking fellow! I always felt a bit sorry for Blakey when they were taking the mick.

              A bit like Sid Boggle in Carry on Camping – chatting up those school girls, inviting them to his tent and dressing up as a monk to infiltrate their field trip?! DODGY!!! 🙂

              The films (On the Buses) are pretty low rent. I can only stomach them on Xmas Day when I know I’ll be napping anyway! xxx


  7. Absolutely lovely review Ems! I loved the first movie and I’ll definitely watch this when it comes out on DVD. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are always brilliant together. Plus, a movie where Justin Bieber is assassinated can’t be missed! Too bad they couldn’t do the same to Kanye West!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. JunkChuck says:

    I’m not going to admit to a specific number of times I’ve watched Zoolander, but it is more than one and less than 20. I’m so pleased to read this review, because the few other mentions I’ve seen on it were just savage–pretentiously savage, but savage. I can’t wait until I get the chance to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmakwall says:

      Woo hoo! Your comment made my day 🙂

      And I’m sure it’s closer to 20 right? I’m hoping so anyway!

      Yeah it was good. It felt like Zoolander. I was worried as well, so maybe go in not expecting too much and you’ll enjoy it more but the jokes and cameos etc were on a par I thought 🙂

      Ah I hate pretentious reviews, bore off!!!


  9. vinnieh says:

    The Blue Steel pose is great. Ben Stiller always makes me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mikeladano says:

    I liked Zoolander. Didn’t love it, but I will give the sequel a shot.

    I regret making my dad watch the first one. He didn’t find any of it funny. Even the freak gasoline fight accident!

    Liked by 1 person

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