Former models Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) find themselves thrust back into the spotlight after living in seclusion for years. Invited to a major fashion event in Rome, the estranged friends must help save the world’s beautiful people from being murdered one by one.
I was really, really hoping that “Zoolander 2” would capture the magic of the first movie, “Zoolander,” released in 2001. But it never quite makes it. In fact, it doesn’t even come close. Some movies shouldn’t have sequels, and “Zoolander” is one of them.
The story picks up years after supermodel Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) stopped a deadly weapon with his signature “look” and built the “Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good.” But things aren’t looking great for him. For one thing, his school collapsed, killing his wife and injuring his best friend, Hansel (Owen Wilson).
Derek and Hansel are estranged now. Hansel has been in a perpetual orgy (involving men, women and animals), and Derek has been secluded in a mountain cabin in the wilds of northern New Jersey. When the tabloids photographed Derek losing his temper while attempting to make spaghetti for his son, Child Protective Services took the boy away.
Then Billy Zane (who was also in the original “Zoolander”) shows up with an invitation for Derek to attend a fashion show hosted by the supreme fashionista, Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig).
Reunited in Rome, Derek and Hansel find themselves entrenched in a murderous plot hatched by the evil Mugatu (Will Ferrell). Penelope Cruz plays a swimsuit-model-turned-Interpol-investigator who enlists the help of Derek and Hansel.
First, the (one) good thing about “Zoolander 2.” I love both Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, especially when they’re together on screen. But other than that, “Zoolander 2” is a hot mess. There’s a plot buried somewhere in there, but you have to search for it.
And when you find it, it makes absolutely no sense. Something involving beautiful people being murdered, the fountain of youth, and Derek’s son, who is the target of schoolyard bullies (As well as Derek – the biggest male supermodel of all time has an overweight son? That just can’t be!)
Sometimes dumb movies can still be funny. Unfortunately, “Zoolander 2” doesn’t fall into that category. It’s not only dumb, but it’s also not funny. And the PG-13 rating is off-base, as the movie ventures into crude humor and sex jokes. In short, steer clear of “Zoolander 2.”
Reel Rating: 2 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong language
Released in Theaters: Feb. 12, 2016
Best for Ages: 15+
Genre: Comedy, Sequel
Runtime: 102 minutes
Directed by: Ben Stiller
Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz
PARENT OVERVIEW: “Zoolander 2” includes violence played for laughs, characters shot and stabbed, and jokes about orgies, large breasts and other innuendos. Language includes one “f–k,” and adults drink socially. A kid is bullied for being overweight.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Images in this review used courtesy of the studio and distributor.