By Nate Willis, Entertainment Writer
Fifteen years after writing, directing, producing, and starring in the popular comedy “Zoolander”, Ben Stiller reprises all of those roles with “Zoolander 2”. Filled to the brim with celebrity cameos, and jokes that are 15 years old, “Zoolander 2” is exactly what fans of the original “Zoolander” needed. Co-starring Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, and Penélope Cruz, this film doesn’t feel as fresh as the original, but it definitely kept the laughs coming.
The story actually becomes more complex as the film progresses (something about descendants of Steve, who was created in the beginning along with Adam and Eve). If this were a serious film, I might’ve had some problems with how ridiculous, stupid, and pointless the plot was, but seeing as how this film doesn’t take itself seriously, the plot seems good enough for some laughs.
One thing that stood out over the first film is the amount of star power. Stiller approached this film with the same jokes but a different mentality than the original. As a way of making up for how flat some of the jokes fall, Stiller threw in celebrities like Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Sting, and Justin Bieber (just to name a few) to provide a much-needed comedic dimension. Through replacing originality with celebrity, Stiller manages to make this film stand up on its own without needing complete support from brand recognition.
As far as the jokes go, Stiller’s Derek Zoolander and Wilson’s Hansel are as dumb as ever, and Ferrell shines as the evil Mugatu. The film, like the original, is very self-aware, throwing out as much ridiculous, dumb humor as you can stomach. The jokes aren’t always funny, and they aren’t always in good taste, but this film is worth seeing for the moments you catch yourself laughing at Justin Bieber getting killed or Will Ferrell simply being Will Ferrell.
Overall, I enjoyed this film, more so than I expected to anyway. Sequels (especially comedy ones) have a tendency to be dull and boring compared to the original, but Stiller manages to avoid this by not copying the original line-for-line. If you liked the original “Zoolander”, I’m confident there’s something in “Zoolander 2” for you. If you’re not really a fan of Stiller’s work to begin with, just stay home.
Nate’s Netflix Picks:
- We Need to Talk about Kevin
- God Bless America