Derek Zoolandeer (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) are back in the modeling game after 15 years in self-imposed exile. Full disclosure, David and I never saw the original "Zoolander" (2001), so we have no basis for comparison. However, I honestly don't think it matters.
Stiller and others have penned a ridiculously inane script that is sometimes very funny, mostly not. "Zoolander 2" begins with a rather violent end to Justin Bieber, playing himself, as he is maliciously gunned down at night in Rome --- alone? Whomever thought riddling his body with gunshot wounds would be amusing in our current climate of rampant gun violence should have their head examined. The sequence is decidedly tasteless, although the play of his choosing just the right pose to Instagram before he finally expires speaks volumes regarding the obsession with social media, as intended, I'm sure.
The world's most beautiful people are being knocked off trying to protect the "chosen one" --- the direct descendant of Steve, of Adam and Eve and Steve fame from the Garden of Eden. Don't ask. Steve was the first true supermodel, with the superpower stare inherited by Derek.
Now Derek has a son, Derek Zoolander, Jr. (Cyrus Arnold), a fat kid who is suspected to be the current "chosen one" and hunted by the evil Mugatu (Will Ferrell). After Jr. is kidnapped, Derek, Hansel and a gorgeous Interpol agent, Valentina (Penelope Cruz), plan a daring rescue to save him.
"Zoolander 2" doesn't take itself too seriously, thankfully, but the major problem with outlandish comedies such as this is the unevenness of the screenplay. Admittedly, there are some hilarious scenes, one in which Benedict Cumberbatch appears as a possible hermaphrodite named All.
Another has M.C. Hammer in the same prison as Mugatu for fashion violations --- his being Hammer pants.
But the small amount of good does not outweigh the very bad. I love Cruz --- she is definitely beautiful --- but the shtick regarding her breasts and swimming abilities is so stupid, and, truthfully, beneath her. C'est dommage ---
"Zoolander 2" will have its fans, no matter what. The hype worldwide has been immense. It's a shame Stiller didn't put that much effort into the script.
Opinion: Wait for DVD
It's been about 15 years since Ben Stiller unleashed his character Derek Zoolander on the cinema world, and like that first film, "Zoolander 2" features a plethora of cameos from all manner of celebrities. To name them would spoil the surprise, so I won't, but some of them flash by so quickly they're almost unrecognizable.
Of the featured roles in this sequel, Kristen Wiig is my favorite. Her Alexanya Atoz is hysterical. Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and particularly Kyle Mooney (from SNL) as fashion mogul Don Atari, stand out in a movie that's silly and stupid, but reasonably entertaining if you just sit back and accept it for what it is. To its credit, the bathroom humor is minimal
And of course Penelope Cruz is as lovely to look at as ever. She deadpans her character Valentina, the head of the "Fashion Police" of Interpol, with feigned gravity that makes you wonder how she ever got through the filming.
"Zoolander 2" could have lost its PG-13 rating in the opening sequence with Justin Bieber in dire straits, but when he verbalizes "Oh, fudge!", you know the movie is rated appropriately to draw the under-17 crowd.
Opinion: Wait for DVD