Review: 'Zoolander 2' Struts In Style

Laura Cafasso ‘18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Ben Stiller plays Derek Zoolander in Zoolander No. 2 from Paramount Pictures.
Ben Stiller in Zoolander 2. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.
When we last left off, Derek Zealander (Ben Stiller) was on top of the fashion world. In 2001, he was a hero, saving the Malaysian prime minister from a throwing-star involved death, and Zoolander was hottest male model in the game (how can we forget Magnum or Blue Steel?). But a family tragedy and wrecked business venture cause this icon to retreat into hiding . . . as a “hermit crab.”
Any moviegoer would think that this sequel has everything to lose. The first Zoolander was a silly, likable film that satirized the fashion and entertainment industry like never before. There is always a fear of the dreaded “Sequel Curse”, just look at Iron Man 2 or really any of Transformers. It begs the question: Can it live up to the hype?
Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell in Zoolander 2. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.
What was surprising about Zoolander 2 was that it didn’t implode on its own absurdity; it embraced it. Sometimes not taking yourself too seriously (while still making valid points about life) can work well. I mean, where else can Billy Zane (reprising his role of himself) be a motivational Netflix-bringing mailman? Or that nobody questions Hansel’s live-in orgy (that includes a love-struck Kiefer Sutherland)?
Challenged to make a comeback by famed designer Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig), Derek exhibits a shaky confidence, having lost the “fire in his face” several years ago. Hansel (Owen Wilson), tries to get his friend’s mojo back, even though he’s just as insecure. All Derek can do is say to his estranged friend, “I miss not knowing things with you”.
Little did the duo know that they would become a laughing stock of the Atoz fashion show, with the labels “lame” and “old” attached to their outfits. Enraged, Hansel and Derek join forces with beautiful Interpol (Global Fashion Division) agent, Valentina (Penélope Cruz). Something about Atoz is suspicious — and the facts that many pop stars around the world have been mysteriously murdered.
Ben Stiller and Penélope Cruz in Zoolander 2. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.
Atoz and the imprisoned Mugatu (Will Ferrell) have something up their sleeves — and Derek, Hansel, and Valentina are the only ones that can crack the twisted, glamorous plan. This venture is more action-thriller than its predecessor, along with a snazzy soundtrack. Owen Wilson shines in particular, playing a more enlightened and understanding man (who is quite flexible I may add). Ben Stiller still saves all the great one-liners for himself, acting as also the writer and director.
With appearances by Benedict Cumberbatch, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande (and many more), this sequel is a pleasant romp into lunacy, while adding in some life lessons in an ever-evolving world of fashion.
Overall Grade: B
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