After 15 years off the runway, “Zoolander 2” had the potential of being a delightfully nostalgic movie, but this is one sequel that is best described as tired and lazy.
Ben Stiller (“Night at the Museum”) returns as the unbelievably stupid male model, Derek Zoolander. After losing his wife to a freak accident and his son to child services, Derek leaves the world of fashion to live as a hermit. When he gets an opportunity to reunite with his son years later, he gets together with Hansel, played by Owen Wilson (“Cars”) to return to modeling.
At times, Stiller and Wilson work as well on screen as they did in the original film. Unfortunately, most of the duo’s performances are very stale. Both simply go through the motions, delivering some lines with absolute apathy.
It’s newcomer Kristin Wiig (“Bridesmaids”) who stands out as the film’s villain, Alexanya Atoz.
It’s amazing how comfortable she is in playing this inaudible character — that is, until Will Ferrell (“Elf”) waltzes onto the screen later on in the film, and Wiig is pushed aside for more formulaic, predictable jokes.
It’s a disappointment that Wiig didn’t have more screen time, because she was a welcome addition that added some new humor to an otherwise tired film.
Even the multitude of celebrity cameos come off as uninterested in giving anything noteworthy.
Like its predecessor, “Zoolander 2” is full of appearances from dozens of famous celebrities including Billy Zane and Kiefer Sutherland, a slew of pop stars including Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande, and a bizarre cameo from Neil deGrasse Tyson. These stars bring little to the actual film.
A big problem is that “Zoolander 2” actually manages to have too much in common with the earlier installment.
There’s a lack of energy behind a lot of the cast and jokes, and several moments feel almost mechanical.
Except for a great gag that occasionally rises to the surface, most of the scenes are mediocre muck. For a comedy, the humor has little value and is oftentimes too awkward or rehashed from the previous film.
While there a handful of jokes that are incredibly clever, “Zoolander 2” pales in comparison to its predecessor and ends up being another unwatchable comedy sequel.