By Christian DiMartino
If you ask me, Zoolander is comic gold. It’s a stupid movie, for sure, but the way director/star Ben Stiller handled the stupidity beautifully. It came out just weeks after 9/11, so people didn’t really show up to it. A shame really, because it is really really ridiculously funny, to the point where you won’t believe your eyes. Its earned its cult status.
Now some 15 years later, we have Zoolander 2. Did we need it? Eh, not really. But you know what? I welcomed it, because I love seeing Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell and co. take something so stupid so seriously.
Granted, critics hate this movie, so I might not be the person to trust. I may just be blinded by Zoolander love. Here and there, the jokes end in a thud. But dammit, I laughed, and that’s all that really matters.
The plot is like a spy movie mixed with The Da Vinci Code, and it don’t make a whole lotta sense. The opening scene brings all of our fantasies to life, as Justin Beiber is shot to death. But before he dies, he takes a selfie of himself pulling the “Blue Steel” look. Turns out the Beibs isn’t the only one. A bunch of other celebrities have went and done the same thing. Hmm.
Then we’re given a recap of just where Derek Zoolander (Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) have been this entire time. Turns out both were struck by tragedy (the tragedy itself is completely ridiculous… In a clever, Zoolander kind of way), and have gone into hiding. Not to mention, Derek’s son has been taken away from him, because he’s obviously a moron. But soon the two are headed to Rome after receiving an invite to a fashion show, run by two weirdos (Kristen Wiig and Kyle Mooney, who don’t get a whole lot to do).
This is where they also run into an Interpol agent named Valentina (Penelope Cruz, foxy as can be), who promises to help Derek find his son if they help her solve her mystery. The two actually relate, because it turns out that the man behind this is… None other than Mugatu (Ferrell)! Of course.
Now, in case you haven’t heard, there are times when Zoolander 2 doesn’t work. It’s not a movie that relies on fart jokes or anything (whew) but it can be too stupid for its own good. In trying to match the spirit of the original, it sometimes gets carried away with itself. Also, there’s a lot of cameos, which I never mind. But some of them just feel like they’re there for cameos sake. It also could’ve used more Ferrell, who steals the show in the final act. Lastly, I never cared about the plot. I was always entertained, but I never cared.
But luckily, Zoolander 2 isn’t the tragic gasoline fight accident I heard it was. You need not bother writing my “Eugoogly” today. When this film works, it’s pretty funny. I also appreciate the fact that, with the exception of a few scenes, the movie doesn’t rely on references to the original. Like Dumb and Dumber To.
It takes really smart people to make a movie this stupid, and yeah it misses its marks sometimes. But I admired its swings. Few people would dare to try something so stupid. So even though Derek and Hansel aren’t as hot right now as they were then, I can still relax.