Critics will tell you that “Zoolander 2” is a blazing dumpster fire. Critics will tell you that the humor is lost in the abundance of celebrity cameos. Critics will tell you to not waste your money to go see “Zoolander 2.”
I’m here to tell you that they are wrong. You should go see “Zoolander 2.”
Ben Stiller, director and star, plays Derek Zoolander, a lovably dumb male model who has fallen out of the public eye after a string of disasters leaves him widowed. One such disaster leaves his partner-in-crime Hansel, played by Owen Wilson, permanently deformed.
After losing custody of his son and retreating to the woods of northern New Jersey, Zoolander attempts to rekindle his modeling career, along with Hansel, by going to Rome. Zoolander then finds out that Mugatu, played by Will Ferrell, is planning to sacrifice his son for the future of fashion.
Shockingly, my favorite performance came not from Ferrell, Stiller or Wilson. The funniest performance came from Kyle Mooney, a regular on “Saturday Night Live” and former YouTube star. Mooney plays Don Atari, the poster boy for popular fashion.
Mooney’s character looks into the millennial trends and sets a stark contrast to the aging models. It’s essentially one of the personas he adopted in his YouTube videos for his group Good Neighbor Films. His dry, sarcastic style is not easy to notice, but I laughed every time he appeared on screen.
“Zoolander 2,” a sequel 15 years removed from the original, is not a good movie, and neither was its prequel. But the second installment, much like the first, had one intangible thing that many movies can’t attain: charm.
One of the most charming aspects of this film is the stunning, almost absurd, number of celebrity cameos. Justin Bieber appears in the first scene, and the likes of Katy Perry, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and countless others also make appearances.
These cameos, notably Sting’s, were hilarious because they knew they weren’t involved in something to be taken seriously. Nearly every single line ends or begins with the title of a song by The Police. It’s not terribly complex or intricate writing, but it makes you laugh.
This movie was objectively over-hyped and over-produced. There were Snapchat filters and countless runway appearances at Fashion Week by Stiller and Wilson, in character, of course. For a minute, I thought this would be as good as the first installment.
“Zoolander” is one of my all time favorite movies — I’ve ordered orange mocha frappechinos at Starbucks. It was dumb, but laugh out loud funny. In its simplicity, it was Stiller’s masterwork. I quickly realized that, with how hard Stiller was trying, it could never be the same. So, I changed my expectations. I went from expecting a masterpiece to expecting a hot mess.
The humor in “Zoolander 2” is the same as in the first. It’s dumb, but dumb things are funny. It’s not going to beat you over the head with its wit, but it will make you laugh. This is not an Academy Award winning film, and you shouldn’t expect it to be.
The story is as stupid as the humor, but it’s enough to keep the movie from fallings into a pit of sexual innuendo and one-liners from Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
This movie will make you laugh, as long as you’re not a movie snob with no sense of humor. If you enjoyed the first, you will enjoy the running jokes and familiar stars. It’s the first movie I’ve spent money to go see in a long time.