We popped along to the preview screening of Zoolander 2 this week with some trepidation - I mean, how do you meet the hilarity of the first one? And will Kristen Wiig be as funny as we hope she is? And how do they make the idea seem fresh all these years later??
Ok, I'll tell you right now: It's good. Maybe it's great. Maybe it's even as great as the first one - and I don't say that lightly.
Firstly, let's unpack the plot: we open on a news montage, updating us on the #fashun happenings of the last decade since we saw Derek go full Blue Steel on Mugatu's ass. The Centre For Kids Who Can't Read Good was built with literally the same building materials as the model (for ants), and 2 days after opening it collapsed into the river, crushing Mrs Zoolander, aka Matil'.
Derek, left to solo-parent with no clue, has his pouting son taken from him by child services - and he's delivered into the arms of an Italian orphanage, suspiciously run by a pirate-y DJ that may or may not be the exact same one who was spinning Relax at the Derelict event. The plot thickens, with the addition of Hansel - now facially disfigured after an accident - and an ex-swimsuit model played by Penelope Cruz, now a model slash spy.
Throw in some big names from fashion (Anna Wintour, Tommy Hilfiger, Alexander Wang), a heap of cameos (Sting, Kiefer Sutherland, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande), and a couple of key reprisals (Ferrell as Mugatu, his latte-making assistant in tow, Christine Taylor as ghost-Matilda, Milla Jovovich as the leather-clad assasin, Billy Zane), and you'd be hard pressed to find a moment when you're not entertained.
Laughs, we had a few - namely from Wiig's weirdly-accented Mugatu-love-interest Alexanya Atoz, and Benedict Cumberbatch as the non-gender specific All - but I think Zoolander 2 will require a re-watch for me to consider it really up there with the first. Beneath the dazzling lineup of stars and famous faces, it's possible some of the better opportunities for hilarity were missed.
Mostly, I craved some more screen time with Wiig, after her promotional House of Atoz videos had me cracking up ahead of the release.
In fact, if there was one criticism of the film, it'd be the gluttonous feeling I got from the complete jam-packing of (probably) everyone in Hollywood requesting a cameo. Something tells me Stiller didn't have to make a lot of calls... Unfortunately it resulted in some awkward shoe-horning of celeb moments into a reasonably solid comedic plot, which sometimes felt encumbered by the attempts to fit them all in.
Overall, however, Zoolander 2 will become a classic, complete with quotable lines and updated references that feel as though they will stand the test of time. Sure, it's stupid - but then again, that's the entire point, isn't it?
Photo credit: Movie Web