‘Blue Steel’ back on the big screen



In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander, from left, Owen Wilson as Hansel and Penelope Cruz as Valentina Valencia in a scene from the film, “Zoolander 2.” (Philippe Antonello/Paramount Pictures via AP)

Fabian Brims, Contributor

Ben Stiller surprised audiences with a fresh and funny comedy in 2001 with ‘Zoolander’ that picked on the model business and the fashion industry, becoming  an instant hit both for critics and audiences alike.

Now 15 years later, his character Derek Zoolander tries to make a comeback in ‘Zoolander 2’. Even though he brought his male-model friend Hansel, it’s just not as good as I hoped the movie would be.

The first ‘Zoolander’ movie instantly turned into a cult classic, but unfortunately the sequel doesn’t have the same quality. After he saved the world in the first movie, luck switches sides on the most famous male-model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller).

His wife died in an accident that also took down his newly built learning

‘Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good and Who Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too’. If that’s not enough, he also lost custody of his son Derek Jr (Cyrus Arnold).

Troubled by these events, he ended his career and has been living the life of a hermit. Eventually, he and his former competitor—and now best friend—Hansel (Owen Wilson), are lured out of retirement from the influential fashion queen Alexanya Atoz (Kristin Wiig).

The world has changed over the past 15 years, and they struggle with new technology and trends. Meanwhile the infamous Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell) plots his revenge out of fashion jail. Luckily the Interpol agent and former swimsuit model Melanie Valentina (Penelope Cruz) is alarmed and helps the small-witted model heroes to save the world once more.

Many gags were on point, Hansel and Derek are again the perfect ‘Dumb and Dumber’ buddy duo. We see the ‘who’s who’ of the fashion industry (Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Tommy Hilfiger) in funny cameos. Let’s not forget Benedict Cumberbatch in nightmare-inducing makeup as an androgynous supermodel.

Music superstars Sting, MC Hammer and Justin Bieber also have short, but funny appearances and there are countless pop culture references throughout the movie.

Unfortunately, that’s almost everything good that can be said about ‘Zoolander 2’. It suffers from the same problem many other sequels suffer from: too many gags that weren’t funny enough to begin with or that are overused. The best example for this would be Hansel’s orgy.

While the first movie was a wonderful persiflage on the fashion business, the sequel simply follows a generic and idiotic conspiracy plot. There wouldn’t be many side blows against the beauty industry without the cameos. Instead of unmasking comedy, director, co-writer and lead Ben Stiller uses mostly slapstick and visual humor to entertain the viewer.

Like ‘Anchorman 2’ this is another sequel that was highly anticipated, but the filmmakers were not able to repeat their satiric approach. Although, it is definitely a funny and entertaining movie. If a no-brainer is what you’re going for, you won’t be disappointed.