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Zoolander 2: Genuinely Funny but Doesn’t Quite Live Up to The First One [Review]

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I knew I was going to love this movie before I sat down to watch it. The original Zoolander was so funny that based on the trailer for the new one, I could have written this review beforehand and just filled in the details after.  And I was right – Zoolander 2 is all kinds of awesome but did it really live up to the first one?  Could it have?

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Derek and Hansel are modelling again when an opposing company attempts to take them out from the business.

zl2-05370r.0First the good stuff – and there was a lot of good stuff.  This movie was funny in  just the right way mostly due to the performances.  The more I see of Will Ferrell the funnier he becomes (I love his little Mugatu run!)    There was a particularly hilarious bit with Benedict Cumberbatch and Kristen Wiig’s performance was worth the price of admission.  I especially love the bizarro world of Fashion (there’s real Fashion Police with Fashion Prisons).  It was all so gloriously ridiculous.

This movie was beautiful.  Not just Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson (though they are) but the costumes and the scenery were all lovely.  Of course I say this every time there’s a movie set in Rome because (movie designers take note) that’s really all it takes to impress me.  That and lots of color.  There was all of this in this movie; I loved the look of it.  

Article Lead - wide1005544823gmea4wimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.gmobcn.png1455361024303.jpg-620x349Making sequels is tricky.  You have to take the what worked from the source material and push it further without changing it that much.   But I think Hollywood is getting better at it; I’ve seen some pretty good sequels lately.   Everything that made Zoolander good is in this sequel.  Everything.  Seriously – it’s like they made a list of every joke in the first movie and called back to each, one by one.  Now I don’t mind that in the least – it can’t be overstated how much I liked the first Zoolander.  

The problem is, though, they were so busy making this true to its source that they didn’t make the film as stand on its own.  The pacing is wonky.  I didn’t particularly like the ending (it wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great).   The themes were a bit muddy – it asks questions and then never really answers them.  Worst of all, if you hadn’t watched the first film, I’m pretty sure none of this would have made any sense.  Maybe I’m being too hard on it, this is entirely possible.  After all, the fans can be the hardest to please.  But a comedy can have consistent themes and a sequel can work as an independent movie.  And it should.benedict-cumberbatch-zoolander-2

So is this a film worth seeing?  That depends.  Did you see the first one?  Did you like it?  If you answered yes to both these questions then you should definitely see Zoolander 2.  If you answered ‘No’ to one or both, then definitely skip it.   It’s that simple.  This is a movie made only for delight of the fans of the first Zoolander.  It’s not for anybody else.  I’m going to see it again and probably buy it.Zoolander 2