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Zoolander 2

Yes, it’s ridiculous. It’s supposed to be.

Of course, as it is with most sequels, this fashionista comedy can’t be as fresh as its 2001 predecessor. After all, Ben Stiller and company went into some very daring places with the Zoolander concept: sashaying into the then little satirized world of models and catwalks. Much of what they lampooned worked in part because taking on the Anna Wintours of the world was pretty much verboten. And these boys did it with contagious relish.

Now, 15 years after that movie became an eventual hit on the home screen, Anna Wintour is in on the joke. She, along with several big fashion names, actually appears in a key climactic sequence. The cynicism is warmer and fuzzier this time (spare a goofy spin by Kyle Mooney in addition to a breathtaking scene from Benedict Cumerbatch) which does blunt the punch lines. And, in an effort to bring back all the old characters as well as tap into myriad other traditional film story lines, there’s too much going on. 

But. There are quite a few laughs along this very bumpy way. Stiller, flashing that Blue Steel face, is funniest in the film’s beginning, which actually had me laughing out loud. And it’s sweet to see Owen Wilson back as his loyal partner (except, of course, for those orgy partners of his own). Penelope Cruz is a game romantic interest for Derek and Will Ferrell, along with Kristen Wiig, go for the chandeliers as the bad guys. Who else shows up along the way? It would be easier to list who isn’t in this movie. At times, it feels as if, when the script can’t come up with something funny, the camera just pans to one of the famous faces that are hanging around. And if we get a giggle seeing  Malcovich, Sting, or Beiber do something silly, really, aren’t there worse things in the world than that?


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