Remember the movie Zoolander? It’s pretty much impossible to forget when your annoying co-worker keeps quoting that stupid line about the Derek Zoolander Centre for Kids Who Can’t Read Good (it’s been 15 years, Ben; you need to chill the fuck out). Well, the sequel you were definitely not hanging out for is out now, and oh god it is just awful.
Zoolander and Hansel are lured back into the fashion world by millennial hipster designer Don Atari, whose character is such a cringe-worthy take on the long dead hipster motif that it could have only been the brainchild of the same generic, 40-year-old male screenwriter who thought that including a transgender model named All (played by Benedict Cumberbatch in a depressing blow to society’s collective heart) would be incisive and funny. Zoolander and Hansel storm out of the show, determined to quit fashion forever, when Interpol agent Melanie Valentina (Penelope Cruz, who definitely isn’t Italian) of the fashion police division – no, seriously – enlists their help in finding out who is murdering pop stars.
The film only gets more incoherent from here, losing all semblance of plot, characterisation, timing – really, any of the necessary ingredients for a comedy – in a ham-fisted attempt to tread the same tired comedic ground as the first movie. I can’t think of a single reference from the original film that isn’t repeated in Zoolander 2, jammed into the empty spaces in the films appallingly pathetic narrative.
Every single original joke is explained away and flogged eternally, into a painful void of baffling jokes about people with “mental impairments” and Zoolander’s son being fat. This is a poorly photocopied version of the original Zoolander, with the exact same jokes that were excusable in 2001. In a box-office climate where sequels, remakes and big franchises rule, Zoolander 2 is a microcosm of all that is wrong in Hollywood right now.
It dangles cameo after cameo in your face like a set of car keys designed to distract you from its unbelievably shitty and lazy writing. You might think that Zoolander 2 pulls this off in a light-hearted, self-aware kind of way, and it has some semblance of self-awareness, but only in the sense that it knows exactly how bad and insulting this film is to its audience.
This film is the cinematic equivalent of a baby crib mobile, all palatable noises and pretty colours, except it’s made of human turds instead of soft toys. This is, without a doubt, the worst movie I have ever seen in my life. To excuse it as simple fun is to sanction the ever-growing pile of crap Hollywood tells us counts as film.