In the second instalment, Derek (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) return to the harsh realities of the fashion set after spending time in self-imposed exile following the tragic collapse of the Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Who Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too.
Their return to modelling is spurred by Derek’s desire to reconcile with his long lost son, Derek Jnr. But it is also good news for the Interpol Fashion Crime Division, which needs Derek to help investigate the murder of the world’s biggest celebrities. Justin Bieber is killed off in spectacular fashion in the opening scene, which many people will find highly satisfying.
Derek and Hansel team up with Valentina (Penelope Cruz) from Interpol, and together they try to track down their number-one suspect, Derek’s evil nemesis Mugatu (Will Ferrell).
The film has upped the celebrity ante, with appearances from the fashion elite (Anna Wintour, Valentino, Marc Jacobs) and Hollywood stars (Susan Sarandon, Billy Zane). Some of these are hilarious (Kiefer Sutherland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sting); some are pointless and unfunny (Katy Perry, Neil deGrasse Tyson); others you will miss if you blink.
Like most sequels, Z2 doesn’t quite live up to expectations.
The sequel relies on rehashing old jokes to get a laugh, and they are generally successful. There’s nothing like nostalgia to make audiences feel connected to the characters again. But like Anchorman 2, Zoolander 2 just doesn’t have the same charm as its predecessor. The script doesn’t contain the same quick jabs or dialogue that is so silly that it works.
The film attempts to tackle modern fashion concepts, like transgender models and plus-size models, but the jokes fall flat and feel forced.
If you’re a Zoolander fan, Z2 is a must-watch, simply to relive the memories and bask in the beauty of Magnum. However, don’t take someone who hasn’t seen the first instalment because it will seem nonsensical.
Derek Zoolander may not be so hot right now, but rather a little bit lukewarm.