We live in a world crowded by reboots, remakes and sequels, most of which aren't good, very few are good. Where does Zoolander 2 fall in this case? Slap bang in the middle for me. Before I delve deeper into the review, a short version of what I thought is that, the movie has a lot of flaws... But it made me laugh. It rejects the current comedy formula and dares to be different. Okay, lets dig a little deeper!
The film takes place 15 years, straight after the events of the first one. Both Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) became irrelevant over the years since a freak accident that is told at the start of the movie. They both go into recluse separately and lead totally different lives. They reunite pretty early in the movie and it's not long until their dumb-witted antics kick up again. In a movie where two dumb-witted characters who were best friends meet up again after a long time, being reluctant at first and become friends again bears an overhanging resemblance to Dumb and Dumber To which had a big reunion last year also. That goes to show that they didn't stray too far from movie plot cliche's making this one. Their main aim in this movie is laughs, everything else comes second, which means the plot, logic and character developing can be quite rushed and at times head-boggling.
The main applaud I have for this movie is the humor, so many run-of-the-mill comedies in Hollywood these days have a specific formula for comedy that they totally abide to. Sometimes it's like some of the comedies read a manual on how to cater for the one type of humor! Zoolander 2 goes out of this box into the welcoming realm of slapstick. The thing about slapstick humor is, it's hard to get right, the classics like The Naked Gun and Airplane are often badly honored by films such as Date Movie and Scary Movie. I think Zoolander 2 gets the slapstick 70% right, for the most part. It was quite weird, because, some of the sketches they did had me burst out laughing whereas some had me sigh in a way I would to a joke from Scary Movie 5 or something like that. Overall I think it worked, a few jokes caught me off guard pleasantly, I must say!
One of the huge things in the film is the use of cameos. If you thought Anchorman 2 had tons of surprising faces, then you're in for a treat with Zoolander 2! Some people might feel there was too many and it might be too much for some, but I always love a familiar face! Regarding the main cast they, they did a fine job. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson tapped back to their characters easily as if they were an alter ego of theirs. My favorite in the movie was both Kristen Wiig (who looks totally different) and of course, the impeccable, Will Ferrell. The movie was instantly funnier anytime Will Ferrell was on screen who fits perfect for this sorta humor, which is a breath of fresh air because his last two films weren't all that great (Get Hard, Daddy's Home). Penélope Cruz wasn't anything new or fresh in this role, it seems as if she was there purely for her looks as she plays a stereotypical, good looking agent-type character.
Ben Stiller is back in the directing chair and he does fine, the scenes are standard enough with nothing super ground-breaking. Most of the film was shot in Rome and it seemed very convenient how most of the film went for the characters, which leaves me guessing that a lot of the money for the movie didn't go totally on the budget.
On the topic of the budget, I think the marketing for this movie hasn't been great. I'm not sure about the big countries, but here in Ireland, the film hasn't been advertised too well and I was surprised it was out when it was! It makes me think that if the movie flops financially, I won't be all too surprised.
Anyway, back to the movie. Zoolander 2 is a film you might want to see with your friends, partners or anybody not under the age of 13. I saw regretful parents in-front of me that brought their unsuspecting kids and they may go to school with a few weird stories for their friends. Ultimately, the film will give you some laughs, some louder than others and maybe a few sighs of frustration. The film is a bit off-the-wall crazy, but it has a sort of unique-ness to it. I think movie fans and Zoolander fans won't hate this movie. Is it worth seeing in the cinema? Sure, but don't expect a 22 Jump Street or Anchorman type hilarity.