Zoolander 2 film review

By Kate “One Take Kate” Taylor

Image via IMDB

Leave all your intellectual capabilities at the door and jump on board for a silly romp through the mind of one of the world’s most beloved idiots, sorry, characters: Derek Zoolander, played once more by Ben Stiller. You know what you’re in for here, surely? It’s crazy, silly and irreverent in the sense that it doesn’t make sense. Zoolander 2 hedges towards that Carry On, Benny Hill, Hot Shots type of territory where pointlessly saucy jokes butt up against other pointlessly saucy jokes. For Zoolander 2 it’s about the spectacle, the grand locations like Rome and over-the-top costumes or wigs and prosthetics like Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig) models below.

That Power Couple look: Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig) and Mugatu (Will Ferrell) bring the fierce in Zoolander 2.
Image via Paramount Pictures.

There’s very obvious nods to previous in-jokes from Zoolander (2001) and even other Stiller movies (see Tropic Thunder) but these are all wrapped up in a ‘get-the-band-back-together’ style narrative that sees Derek Zoolander put someone and something other than his ridiculously good looks and supermodel career ahead of himself for once. In the spirit of The Naked Gun films or the Scary Movie franchise the inane premise really only serves to trot out a glittering cavalcade of cameos from some of the world’s most renown figures of fashion, film, music and celebrity. But that’s what you want isn’t it? It’s the Muppets on Molly with Stiller Kermit’ting along trying to do what’s right and stay relevant in a society of hipsters gone mad. It’s a crazy variety hour feeling film stuffed with short sketches that combine to create a tongue in cheek view of how we think the other half live.

*insert Adele – ‘Hello’*Stiller and Cruz ham it up in Zoolander 2 as Derek Zoolander and Valentina Valenica.
Image via Paramount Pictures.

Where Zoolander arrived to make fun of the supermodel and fashion industries as a whole, Zoolander 2 is taking fierce aim at our dependency on our devices, how we consult them for our every move and blows this out to punctuate the valid discussion point: where is the line between talent and smart devices that give the user the illusion of talent? Ok, but like only for a second, just a really brief, tiny second does Zoolander 2 have that type of dialogue before its back to gay Turkish bathhouse and monogamous orgy jokes.

Zoolander 2 – love it or hate it when you’re presented with the chance to Blue Steel ya gotta do it. This is One Take Kate and Mr Leon Taylor at the Zoolander 2 NZ Premiere Party. Thanks Paramount Pictures for the snap!

There’s always got to be a straight person in a film as popcorn as this and for Zoolander 2 that job has fallen squarely on the desirous shoulders of Penelope Cruz as Valentina Valencia who plays an esoteric foreign babe that’s leading the effort against the evil threatening the world of fashion. As campy and Allo Allo styled as Cruz is as Valentina it’s very much her job to direct the action and keep us on track despite Stiller and Owen Wilson as Hansel, hurtling from slapstick mishap to slapstick mishap.

Penelope Cruz stars in Fast 10: Dangerous Curves…naah kidding. Cruz as Valentina Valencia in Zoolander 2.
Image via Paramount Pictures.

As mentioned, Zoolander 2 is crammed and corseted full of the most recognised stars of today and indeed the last 20 years of popular culture as they pop in and out of the film seemingly on a conveyor belt to the scripted quips of the writing team comprised of Ben Stiller, Justin Theroux, Nicholas Stoller and John Hamburg. From Susan Sarandon to Katy Perry, or Joe Jonas to Marc Jacobs it’s a time capsule of who mattered and made influence in 2016. Extra hip hop love points from me with the inclusion of ASAP Rocky, yas.

The beautification of Smaug: Benedict Cumberbatch as All is everything in Zoolander 2. Also pictured is Don Atari an insufferable hipster derrd that you’ll wanna kick in the pants played by Kyle Mooney. Image via

Hands down for me the winner of all of the cameos is the ever willing good sport, Benedict Cumberbatch as All. All’s part is quite brief in Zoolander 2 but it’s no less fun and definitely pulls off the ‘making fun of fashion’ formula the best having a poke at the revamped societal melange over gender neutrality and androgyny. Cumberbatch is clearly having fun with it and so OTT with his reptilian facial expressions and eye squints, I love them. SNL Alums Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell also delight with their traditional improv background somehow adding a legitimacy to their silliness.

Before I head off, big ups for Hansel, while Derek gets his own film named after him, it’s the daggy delights of Hansel that I always come away from a Zoolander viewing appreciating the most and here Owen Wilson does us proud as that shady dude-that-everyone-knows-someone-just-like kind of a guy. He’s loyal, positive and supportive and is the heart of the film in that he (literally) loves everyone and just wants to be chill and zen. I think we can all take a leaf out of Hansel’s book.

ZOOLANDER 2 is out now in NZ Cinemas

Who’s cameo are you dying to see in Zoolander 2? Let me know below or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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