Short reviews for clear and concise verdicts on a broad range of films…
Zoolander 2 (Ben Stiller/2016)
To quote Mugatu in 2001’s Zoolander, “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”. Zoolander 2 currently resides at a measly 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, with established critic Leonard Matlin justifying why he walked out in place of his review. But Zoolander 2 is as stupid, moronic and mad as its predecessor. Derek Zoolander (Stiller) is pulled back into the fashion world when his son, now a teenager, is the target of a Bond-like plot by another fashion-guru villain, Alexanya Atov (Wiig). Zoolander 2 is big, self-obsessed and ridiculous. The cameos that dominate are part of the world (David Bowie in Zoolander), so we can’t complain when Justin Bieber fronts the opening sequence. The same visually fascinating, but completely impractical fashion jokes appear. Mugatu’s aroused-yet-repulsed relationship with his agent Todd is revisited too – and it holds the same humour. Perhaps, it is as hollow as the fame bestowed on reality TV stars, but isn’t that the point? Comparing a fresh new instalment with a 15-year-old film, that’s been re-watched endlessly (and quoted more), is hardly a fair fight – and Anchorman 2 had the same unfair criticisms held against it. There are seeds of issues regarding plus-size models and nostalgia that are teased, but this isn’t the film to deconstruct society; nor is it a nuanced reflection on the hollow lives of the rich and famous. This is laughing at the pretentiousness of fame and the complete farce of celebrity and trends. Perhaps Zoolander 2 is disposable but it’s so much fun.