Saturday 6 February 2016

Review: Zoolander 2

World of Blackout Film Review

Zoolander 2 Poster

Zoolander 2
Cert: 12A / 102 mins / Dir. Ben Stiller / Trailer
WoB Rating: 3/7

You would think, wouldn't you, that comedic actors/writers/directors desperately reminding audiences of their cinematic relevance would attempt to resuscitate their former glories first, before making their full-on mid-life crisis movie. Not that it's any easier to watch the other way around. I suppose we should all start bracing ourselves now for There's Still Something About Mary

Sure, that's a major snark to open with, but I feel this film deserves it. It's never awful*1, but it's never more than faintly amusing either. And for a Comedy™, that's just not enough. Zoolander 2 opens with the chase scene from the first trailer, in which a hooded figure is pursued by motorcycle-riding assassins through the streets of Rome before revealing himself to be none other than Justin Beiber, who is then gunned down and dies immediately after posting A Selfie™ to Instagram. The joke which takes 22 seconds is the trailer is dragged out for six minutes in the final movie, and gains nothing for it. Even though this is actually a first block in the wafer-thin story of the film, the pacing of the scene works far better in its shorter form, and anyone who's seen the trailer (statistically that's most of the audience, remember, otherwise the trailer has been utterly pointless) already knows the punchline. Plus, the scene ends with this glaring anomaly…

Zoolander 2: Continuity is a dirty word when you've got a Celeb Cameo to squeeze in…

Yep, hair - check, hood - check. A completely different photo! Yay! There's a continuity error in the first gag! Yeah, of course that's intentional Ben. It's not even meant to matter, only the joke is stretched to the point where you can't help but notice. And it's this slapdash approach to self-indulgent circle-jerkery which epitomises Zoolander 2 perfectly, with its heavily telegraphed, drawn-out screenplay and a lengthy queue of celeb-cameos (from both the worlds of fashion and show-business) whose eagerness to appear on-camera is far, far ahead of their self-awareness.

Ben Stiller has made a fan-film of his own work and he'd like to charge you money to watch it.
Caution advised.

So, watch this if you enjoyed?

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
Only if you're a fan of mainstream studio-comedy who fell into a coma in 2002, has recently awoken and needs a gentle buffering into how the world has changed (or not).

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
They wish.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Actually, I probably won't.

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't.

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 2: Zoolander 2 has the muddy paw-prints of Ben Stiller all over it, who appeared in last year's While We're Young alongside Adam 'Kylo Ren' Driver.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Seriously, for all my moaning it's not awful. But it's boring.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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