‘Zoolander No. 2’ Review

Directed by Ben Stiller

Written by John Hamburg, Ben Stiller, Nick Stoller, and Justin Theroux

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penélope Cruz, and Kristen Wiig

★★1/2☆☆☆

Fifteen years after Ben Stiller introduced us to Derek Zoolander, the dimwitted male model, Stiller brings forth the sequel. Unfortunately, it is a sequel that is too little too late by about a decade and a half. The film is obsessed with callbacks to its predecessor, flat gags, and even the chemistry between Stiller and Owen Wilson felt too stale.

“Zoolander No. 2” was not an unhumorous movie, it provided a few decent laughs, although nothing gut-busting. The worst thing about “Zoolander No. 2” is that there were moments that showed the movie that it could have been, a satire of contemporary popular culture. The best gags in the film were the ones that hinted at the movie that could have been. For example, the bit with Benedict Cumberbatch’s androgynous model All could have been expanded upon to talk about the expanding presence of transgender in society and transphobia. Even Penélope Cruz’s character as former swimsuit model could have been used to discuss ageism in the entertainment industry. The whole movie should have satirized ageism, as the main characters of the movie are male models who are 15 years older than in the last film.

Surprisingly the plethora of cameos was not that distracting. Most of them are quick in and out in a few seconds. Many of these cameos are essentially extras; there were cameos listed that I did not even notice where in the movie. With so many you would think it would play like “Entourage,” but many of them work well in the film and are quite funny.

Hopefully “Zoolander No. 2” ends the trend of doing sequels well past their expiration date because of the nostalgia that comes attached to these films. The quick nostalgia buck is not a reason to make a sequel. If you liked “Zoolander” then you will find some enjoyment from “No. 2,” but otherwise sitting through this movie may be a grueling endeavor.

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