Zoolander 2 Screen 10 articles

Zoolander 2


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  • The bitter irony at the core of Zoolander 2 is that it’s a film about the fashion world which is itself horrendously dated. Everything falls flatter than flat because it’s talking to an audience who exist in 2015. The world of fashion is fickle and fast moving, so 2015 is – in geological terms – the equivalent of talking about the Iron Age. Easy targets are listlessly ticked off and the final credits come as a sweet release.

  • Though Stiller's propensity for conceptual goofs has been a staple of his comedy since his sketch days in the late '80s and early '90s, the scale of his films has ballooned as his star has risen. That may be fine for a war-movie spoof like 2008's Tropic Thunder, but the added bloat does nothing for a weightless riff on fashionistas... It's loud, garish and distracted, and doesn't care much about showing you a good time.

  • The results may delight those who believe recycled gags and endless cameos to be the very essence of great screen comedy, but everyone else will likely recognize Stiller’s wannabe Magnum opus as a disappointment-slash-misfire, the orange mocha crappuccino of movie sequels.

  • Appearing too infrequently, Kristen Wiig, as a Donatella Versace knockoff, kills every time she opens her mouth... Wiig's cheering presence in an otherwise depleting project/cross-promoted product highlights the fact that Zoolander 2 is a referendum on dying industries: not just the portfolio of Condé Nast titles that Wintour oversees as artistic director, but also the Frat Pack. As my screening companion wisely noted as we left the theater: "The era of the male comedian is over."

  • Ben Stiller's Zoolander 2 is less a waste of time than it is an annihilation of it. The film fades from memory almost immediately after you walk out of the theater, leaving a hazy, two-hour gap in one's mind that can only be explained by the ticket stub in your hand. At times, it suggests a deliberate experiment by a studio to test the limits of the general public's nostalgia.

  • Released two weeks after 9/11, the first "Zoolander" arrived in theaters like a national catharsis; opening nearly 15 years later, the sequel plays like a throwback to embarrassing times. Backwards sexual politics passed off as crude humor worked better for the first movie, when the idea of "male models" casting feminine poses made for decent punchlines in a less enlightened cultural landscape.

  • Fifteen years after the fact, the sequel risks jeopardizing the goodwill generated by the pretty-good and unexpected original, recycling too many okay jokes and references while failing to update it for the times in any substantial way.

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    Sight & Sound: Henry K. Miller
    March 04, 2016 | April 2016 Issue (p. 94)

    There is a curious double-layered unfunniness about Zoolander 2: it's not just that its jokes about two people from th turn of the century not understanding social media are unfunny; it's also taht these jokes about being past it are themselves past it.

  • “Zoolander 2” is not just relentless in its joking, it becomes relentlessly clever in debunking itself as it goes along. “This is barely a movie,” I thought, as it hopped from one inane plot device to ‘80s music cue to ‘80s music video pastiche to inane plot point. But the observations about the fashion world got, if not sharper (I don’t know enough about the contemporary fashion world to vouch for accuracy), then definitely more pointed.

  • Zoolander 2 may be too much of a spoof to be a good comedy proper, but it has enough brillant ideas (more so on the margins, and some almost too quick to be detected) and cameos, to add a few laugh lines to our wrinkles.

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