I admit, it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen the first one. It was back in 2001, so that would make me, what, twelve or thirteen years old? I remember liking it well enough and was hoping to watch it online to see how it’d hold up and then properly compare and contrast with this out-of-nowhere sequel. I have to say that the teaser, the one with Stephen Hawking narrating it, the puns were actually pretty funny. Having said that, I wasn’t super hyped to see it… in fact, I was pretty indifferent. But then the reviews came in and nothing seemed good. In fact, it was shaping up to be downright awful. To put it into perspective, according to IMDb.com, the first ZOOLANDER received a 6.6/10 (as of 2/17/2016) rating. That’s actually pretty decent. ZOOLANDER 2 on the other hand has a 5.3/10 (as of 2/17/2016). Jesus, a full point lower than its predecessor? Suddenly, I was dreading to see this flick. But having nothing else to watch and I’m a masochist, this is my honest opinion of ZOOLANDER 2.
The story follows Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), who has become reclusive after his poorly built school collapsed and killed his wife, Matilda (Christine Taylor), as well as leaving a facial injury on his best friend and fellow model Hansel (Owen Wilson), effectively ending his career, while also losing his son, Derek Jr. Fifteen years later, however, he’s called for a special modeling job by Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig). Turns out, Hansel got the same invite and the two former friends must find common ground as they enter the new world of modeling. But things become complicated when the Fashion Police get in touch with Zoolander, led by their top agent Valentina (played by Penélope Cruz), and reveal that the world’s biggest names in pop music are being killed off, but each death ends with a selfie that is reminiscent of Zoolander’s looks from earlier in his career. He accepts the idea of helping if the police help him look for his long-lost son, Derek Jr. (Cyrus Arnold), and an alliance is formed. But after an unhappy reunion with the two, Derek is roped deeper into the conspiracy that threatens more lives than anyone can imagine, which eventually leads him to face his arch nemesis, Mugatu (Will Ferrell).
And it blew chucks. Yup, I didn’t like this one damn bit.
The movie was shaping up to be just simply unfunny. The jokes weren’t well thought out, some even predictable. The opening scene is a hooded person trying to escape from an assassin, eventually revealed to be Justin Beiber, playing as himself. He gets axed off via a machine gun. Now, I’m personally not a fan of Beiber. I think he’s a little shit who let his fame go to his head and acts like an asshole to any and everyone. He evolved from a musician to a socialite along the lines of Paris Hilton and the Kardashian clan. So, him in a movie getting assassinated should be ripe for comedy. Nope, it’s a drawn out, underacted shot that loses momentum before it even gains it. Plus, as many times as he’d been shot, those bullets would have torn through his liver, lungs, heart, and shattered who knows how many bones. He would not have been alive long enough to take a selfie. I know it’s a comedy, and I shouldn’t take anything seriously, but the movie almost takes it seriously. You have dark backgrounds, intense action sequences of parkour, assassinations, it’s a pretty confused movie and it just doesn’t work.
There’s another scene where Zoolander and Hansel share a room together and they’re trying to see if Zoolander can still do his ultimate “magnum” look that once stopped a ninja star. To test him, Hansel throws hard and heavy things. The joke would have been fine enough if it stopped at the first throw, but they spend way too long on throwing more shit at him that, again, the comedy wears out.
However, as unfunny as I found the jokes to be, the movie did something that makes it one of the worst movies of the last couple months: shaming.
Let me relay a story to you. I’m outside a Zoolander screening. The movie’s credits start rolling and an older woman comes out. She asks me my opinion of the movie, and being honest, I told her I absolutely hated it, while she absolutely loved it. Apparently, this older woman came to see the film with her family. As they too exit the theater, she individually asks EVERYONE, “did you like it?” Two or three kids, and the two adults. Each and every one of them said that they liked it. Soon as everyone was asked, this woman has the fucking nerve to point at me and announce that I didn’t like it, which causes the two adults to laugh. Because I have a different opinion, I am the laughing stock of everyone in the group. My honesty stopped when I said to them, “have a nice day.”
That’s exactly what this movie does. When Zoolander is reunited with his son, Derek Jr. he immediately doesn’t want to be reunited with him because he’s overweight… even considering that JUST BECAUSE of that, he’s an awful person… as if overweight people are somehow by nature horrible people. Where in fucking hell did this movie come from? It doesn’t even end there! They keep hammering it in that this kid is overweight, joke after joke, trying to feed him lard, spaghetti and meatballs, among other shit at this kid’s expense. It’s very mean-spirited and I couldn’t stand it.
As a rational, intelligent human being, I know those women aren’t a representation of everyone who might like this film. They are an isolated incident that happened to me and will probably never happen again, but dear lord, that doesn’t prevent me from being royally pissed off and comment how fitting it is that a movie that weight-shames a teenager is loved by individuals who laugh at someone who doesn’t love the film.
This is obviously not the movie’s fault. No one who made this movie set out with hopes that people will go out and body-shame someone else (at least, I sure hope not), but at the end of the day, it’s still an unpleasant chore of a movie. I might have been pleasantly surprised by a Milla Jovovich cameo, I may have laughed at everything Neil deGrasse Tyson, but this flick… yeah, never again.
My honest rating: 1/5