REVIEW: ‘Zoolander 2’

Some sequels are made for the potential of a big box office draw. Some sequels are made strictly for super fans of the original film.  In the case of Zoolander 2, it is definitely the latter.

Coming a staggering 15 years after the release of the original, Zoolander 2 features all of the absurdist comedy that made its first installment so delightful, in addition to an obscene amount of cameos, from pop stars to fashion icons.  While there’s a pseudo recap of the first film at the beginning, Zoolander 2 is very much a continuation on the life and wonder that is Ben Stiller’s “really, really, really ridiculously good looking” Derek Zoolander.  If you don’t know the 2001’s Zoolander by heart (like this writer shamelessly does), you’ll need to re-watch the original, especially considering the amount of callbacks.

As for the plot, it’s considerably layered, and for the sake of avoiding spoilers, this is what you need to know:  Derek’s son, Derek Jr., has been kidnapped, and now he, Owen Wilson’s Hansel and Penelope Cruz’s Valentina, a hot Interpol agent, must save him.

One of the film’s potential turn-offs that must be mentioned is this:  If you’re not up on your pop culture references (both old and new), have a basic knowledge of the fashion world (both of yesterday and today) and, for some reason, don’t know who Sting is (the singer, not the wrestler), you will NOT get Zoolander 2 at all and think it’s the dumbest film you’ve ever seen.

Will it tank on opening weekend?  No.

Will it break box office records?  No.

What will Zoolander 2 do?  Provide one of the best updated follow-ups to a beloved comedy in recent memory.  (Looking at you Anchorman 2 and Clerks 2!)  Even with the massive improvement production-wise, Zoolander 2 still doesn’t come off like it’s trying too hard.  It knows what it is:  A silly movie about the silly world of fashion and modeling.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get myself an orange mocha Frappuccino so I have enough energy for my gasoline fight.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock reporter who never leaves home without her iPod, because to her, there’s something very comforting about carrying around every piece of music she’s ever owned in her life.