3 stars
The ‘pout’ is back!
It is 15 years since the handsomest model in the world, Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller - Zoolander), disappeared after his Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too collapsed, killing his wife and disfiguring his best ‘frenemy’, Hansel (Owen Wilson - The Grand Budapest Hotel). Derek has been living like a “hermit crab” in deepest, darkest northern New Jersey while Hansel has been living an equally surreal existence on a vast sand dune near Miami with his ‘orgy’ (which includes an hilarious Kiefer Sutherland… and a goat… and they’re all pregnant).

When Billy Zane comes knocking both men are ready to escape to the Eternal City, Rome, to endeavour to reclaim their titles as the world’s most “really, really, ridiculously good looking” models.
Derek has another reason to make the journey and that is to re-establish his long-lost relationship with his son, Derek Zoolander Jr. (the young TV actor Cyrus Arnold). His son has been in an orphanage since the death of Matilda (Christine Taylor – Zoolander), the boy’s mother. Once again the guys encounter the evil Mugatu (Will Ferrell – Saturday Night Live) but this time they are assisted in their attempt to outwit him by an officer of Interpol’s Fashion Police, Valentina ( Penélope Cruz - I’m So Excited!). The script is full of funny references that hark back to the first Zoolander film, so naturally it works a lot better if you’re familiar with the earlier movie.

When Derek and Hansel are invited to ‘walk’ for leading fashion designer Don Atari (Kyle Mooney – Saturday Night Live) they have a particularly weird encounter with the current ‘hot’ supermodel, an androgynous creature called All (Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game), who comes complete with shaved eyebrows and an unblinking, enigmatic stare. In the ensuing fashion parade, the boys are shattered to discover that they are regarded as has-beens by the hipsters and fashionistas of today. The look of the show is bizarre and it is worth noting the production design by Jeff Mann, which is as extreme as his previous work on Tropic Thunder and Transformers.

In fact, extreme is the style of this film. Did I mention that the great rock stars of the world are all being killed, each one dying with Derek’s signature “Blue Steel” look on their faces, or that there is a Dan Brown-style sub-plot involving the fabled Fountain of Youth and Adam and Eve… and Steve? Most of it beggars belief, however it is quite funny in parts because it sends up the very thing it is based on, the fashion industry and all the silliness that surrounds it. Part of what makes this fun to watch, too, are the cameo appearances by some of the biggest designers and influencers in the business, people like Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Tommy Hilfiger, Anna Wintour, and others like Kate Moss, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Kanye West and Sting - who confesses that his tantric escapades actually stretch to fifteen hour sessions!

If you are into mad moments on screen, then Zoolander No.2 is fun. The pre-publicity was enough to make me take another look at Zoolander, which certainly made me enjoy the sequel more - let’s face it, 15 years is a long time between films! “For serious,” as Derek would say. And Hansel might add, “Whatever dude... whatever. Peace. God Bless.” In the world of the selfie, vacuity rules!


Previewed at Event Cinemas, George St, Sydney, on 10 February 2016

Ben Stiller
Owen Wilson
Penelope Wilson
Will Ferrell
Benedict Cumberbatch

Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller
Justin Theroux



102 minutes

February 11, 2016
Zoolander 2 (2016) on IMDb
Stacks Image 21553
Stacks Image 21556