There should be a rule in Hollywood that you can’t make a sequel to a comedy that is over five years old. What’s deemed funny by society is always changing and some humor can become lame and stale overnight. Anchorman 2 and Dumb and Dumber To are all perfect examples of waiting to long for a follow-up film and not coming close to meeting fan expectations. The next movie you can add to this list is Zoolander 2. A sequel 15 years in the making and boy does it show on-screen.
Zoolander 2 tries to up the ante the second time around with an international murder mystery plot involving estranged male model buddies Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson), but adds so many subplots that none of it comes together or makes sense. You have a spy theme involving new addition Penélope Cruz, a side story about Derek’s son, a biblical prophecy angle and an unrecognizable Kristen Wiig as mysterious fashion model that serves no point in the film.
There is one common theme through the multiple story threads in Zoolander 2. None of it’s funny. The jokes fall flat, you become numb to the numerous cameos and unfortunately Will Ferrell doesn’t show up until the third act bringing some giggles to the unfunny film as Zoolander’s nemesis Mugatu.
Zoolander 2 is one of those sequels that actually tarnishes the original, because it makes you wonder why you ever thought the model comedy was funny. The film is littered with gags that were funny in 2001, but not today. Plus, fat shaming and poking fun at the transgender community isn’t humor that goes over as well with today’s more open-minded audience members. More than anything the jokes are just lazy in Zoolander 2 with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson bringing nothing new to their goofy self-absorbed duo that today’s audience can enjoy.
Overall, I give Zoolander 2 the rating of 1.5 out of 4 stars.