I was a major fan of Ben Stiller’s 2001 hit Zoolander and was one of the first to pledge to see the sequel as soon as its released. After all, it took long enough (15 years) and the trailer was hilarious as heck. Sure, about 90 percent of the first movie made absolutely no sense but sometimes, you need some nonsense into your life.
Unfortunately, after seeing the movie, I realized that despite the long wait, the magic just wasn’t in the sequel anymore and all of the hilarity that the trailer offered was the sum of the entertainment that movie had in it.
After foiling crazed fashion designer Jacobim Mugatu’s (Will Ferrel) plan to assassinate the Malaysian Prime Minister in a high profile fashion show, Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) finally establishes his Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good, only to see it collapse before his very eyes because of substandard construction. In the process, he loses his wife Matilda who dies in the accident and his son Derek Jr. who is taken away by child custody after it was proven that Derek was an unfit parent. Now, Derek and Hansel (Owen Wilson) are called out of retirement by an invitation from fashion mogul Atoz (Kristen Wiig) to join an event. But as always, they find themselves embroiled in yet another conspiracy to discover the fountain of youth initiated by their oil nemesis.
I must admit, based on the first movie, I didn’t expect anything from the sequel except mindless fun. While there were a bevy of cameos from big names in the fashionand its laudable that they would agree to be party to a movie which basically pokes fun at the entire industry, everything felt old and tired, much like Hansel and Derek’s careers at this point.
The jokes seemed like watered down or rehashed versions of jokes that were done in the first movie. With the exception of some laugh out loud skits, it seemed like the actors just picked up where they left off in the last movie and never added anything new to the characters despite the time lapse.
Props to the crew for wanting to do something different to Kristen Wiig, but she seemed more like a pruned up version of Cruella de Ville, more scary than funny in her portrayal of Atoz. Plus her character did not really contribute anything to the movie as Mugatu was still the star of the show.
All in all, I was disappointed that it took 15 years to develop a story so shallow that even I, as an audience with very little expectation, felt dissatisfied over. The movie had no substance, no charm and no heart that even the scenes that should have called for a least bit of emotion seemed awkward. Too bad. Would I recommend it? Definitely not. Just rewatch the old movie to preserve any good will you want to have with this franchise.