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Review: Zoolander No. 2

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson star in Paramount Pictures' ZOOLANDER No. 2

Zoolander came out so long ago, that I can’t really remember anything about it. I don’t think I liked it much, but I’m more than willing to give its sequel Zoolander No. 2 a chance. There’s always a place for some zany comedy in my life. Even if they aren’t great movies as a whole, they still have the potential to give people the opportunity to enjoy themselves for a short period of time.

In this sequel, some of the world’s most beautiful musicians are being assassinated by dark forces. The one clue that connects them together is an iconic look similar to Derek Zoolander’s (Ben Stiller) “Blue Steel” that each of them had on their faces during their final moments. Interpol believes this is some kind of message and teams up with the former model and Hansel (Owen Wilson) to dig into the dangerous world of modeling to stop whoever is behind this international mystery.

The good thing that I can say about Zoolander No. 2 is that I did find myself laughing more than I thought I would. With many of the comedies being released these days, I can’t really say that as much as I would like. Here, they have such a large number of jokes that it shouldn’t come as a shock that some of this stuff does work. While none of it is amazing or really even memorable, some of it is at least decent enough to get some kind of reaction out of at least a few of us.

Now what doesn’t work here? Just about everything else. The storyline that’s being used is incoherent and all over the place. It starts one way, but gradually moves in another direction before heading in another direction. As a matter of fact, they don’t even attempt to tell us why musicians are being targeted. Wouldn’t it make more sense to go after all kinds of celebrities instead? What does Derek Zoolander have to do with singers? This and the many other missteps that are experienced never allow the movie to stabilize or become something that could be considered constructive.

Instead of getting the kind of story that one may hope for in a movie that wants to at least be decent, audiences are being given an insane amount of cameos that don’t actually work anywhere near as well as you might want them to. The introductions of the celebrities are interesting at first, but as the movie moves along, each new introduction proves itself to be tedious and unnecessary. Many of us may not mind the cameos, but you’re going to have a difficult time making a feature length picture do what it needs to when that’s all you have.

This feature could have been an added benefit if the movie wasn’t so anemic to begin with. Add the strikingly pathetic jokes they’re handed, and it’s hard to see how they could help in making Zoolander No. 2 any better. It’s an obvious error on Stiller’s part to think that you could rely solely on this and make a quality movie that could be recommended. When looking back it it afterward, this makes the entire flick seem even more gimmicky than maybe they intended since there isn’t much else for spectators to get into.

Although there isn’t much to find truly enjoyable or worthwhile, Zoolander No. 2 is a movie that I don’t hate as much as I probably should since I did manage to laugh/smile a handful of times. I do however wish that there would have been more being brought to us as viewers. I know it’s not the kind of movie that you’re supposed to take seriously, but a more sensible story to help with things could have done that. Then again, if the jokes were funnier, I’m sure people like myself could have ignored the weaknesses that end up looking like debilitating blemishes.

Rating: PG-13

Director: Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller
Owen Wilson
Penelope Cruz
Will Ferrell
Kristen Wiig
Fred Armisen
Cyrus Arnold
Nathan Lee Graham

Film Length: 106 minutes

Release Date: February 12, 2016

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

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