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. Pingback: Films I Watched In: February | emmakwall (explains it all)

  2. Jordan Dodd says:

    Great review Emma. Can’t say I’ll be going to see it, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. Check out my latest post, my top 20 from last year 😀

  3. Cici says:

    I haven’t even watched Zoolander 1! I have a problem… Am getting it today after work. Great review Emma!

  4. Pingback: 5 reasons I dislike The Oscars (and one reason I don’t) | emmakwall (explains it all)

  5. J. says:

    I laughed a fair bit during Zoolander, but I wouldn’t watch it again. I find that’s the best approach with these types of movies. I dare say I’ll catch this at some point, though I wouldn’t go out my way. Not anything to do with the cast, but just cause it’s likely to rely on the same jokes. That said, the gap between films, and the stepping into ‘now’, would certainly mean that they’d be a bit fresh, huh?

    Anyhoo, smashin’ review, Emma.

    P.S. I thought 22 Jump Street was pretty brilliant!

    • emmakwall says:

      22 Jump Street was good definitely 🙂 it has its moments of real great humour.

      I would say this film is honestly best for fans of the original. I can almost see it through the eyes of someone who doesn’t like Zoolander that much and I’m not sure it would really cut the mustard haha.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting, means a lot!!!! 🙂

  6. Natasha says:

    I loved reading this review and the comments haha. The people who read on here is very spirited and passionate which is awesome.

    I haven’t even seen the first one, so I need to give that one a shot first before I watch the second. I do like silly comedies from time to time so I might enjoy this. But still very scarred from seeing Benedict in the trailer!

    • emmakwall says:

      Haha!!! Benedict!!!! He’s such a good sport isn’t he 🙂

      And OMG wait until you see Keifer Sutherland as well lol.

      These films are DEFINITELY marmite films, love or hate 🙂 the comments section is good read!!! Thanks Natasha 🙂 🙂

  7. Urspo says:

    You are a stronger soul than I; I had a hard time sitting through 1.

  8. I am really looking forward to seeing this because I love the original so much, but I know I need to be aware that it’ll never live up to the hype! Nice write-up Emma. 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks Anna 🙂

      And it’s lovely and refreshing to read a comment from someone else who loves the original. Yay! Everyone else can ‘derelict’ our (imaginary) balls eh? Haha. Sorry, couldn’t resist :p

      I did really enjoy the sequel, but I have only seen it once in the cinema. I think it’s best to have low expectations definitely, hope you enjoy it when you watch it Anna!!

      “orange mocha frappachinos!”

  9. Zoë says:

    Another review that just made me laugh, love it! I don’t think I will be rushing out for this. Maybe one day I will watch them back to back, but I am happy to hear you had such a blast. Your Warning 1 was freaking hilarious. 22 Jump Street was incredibly funny, but not as much as its predecessor. As for your M. Night bit? LOLOLOL!

    • emmakwall says:

      Thanks SOOO much Zoe it means an awful lot!! 🙂

      Thanks very much.

      I felt like a bit of a twat watching 22 Jump Street with my bf, I had REALLY made a big deal about how funny it was and the college setting worked better than school and he’d love it etc etc. Then we watched it and I thought this is just pretty silly really….though it’s still a good film, nowhere near as good as the first one.

      After Earth!!! Maybe I was suffering from a fever that day 🙂 honestly, I was emotional….I loved it! HA!!!

      • Zoë says:

        😀 You know it!

        LOL! I can just imagine. I think we have all made that mistake in life hahaha!

        Yeah, as for After Earth… blame drugs. Always.

  10. A friend once told me in all seriousness that Zoolander was the most accurate film about the male modeling industry. I have no idea if that’s true, but the utter absurdity of both is hard to question 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      I bet it is true!! I hope it is 🙂

      After all there’s nothing more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking! (I bet there’s a lot of truth in the narcissistic way!)

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