Like an overpriced, generic-smelling fragrance developed by a mediocre popstar, Zoolander 2 promises more than it delivers but you still cut it some slack because you know what you’re getting into.
Fifteen incredibly long years after his wife was killed and his son was removed from his incompetent care, Derek Zoolander is living anonymously “as a hermit crab”, blaming himself for his ills. Summoned by the fashion police (headed by the un-look-away-from-able Penelope Cruz) to help solve a string of celebrity murders, Zoolander and his old friend/foe Hansel (Owen Wilson) are forced out of retirement and back to the fashion capital of Rome, where all sorts of silly nonsense ensues.
Written by no fewer than four contributors and directed once more by its star, Ben Stiller, Zoolander 2 has the feel of a round-table joke-a-thon where everyone’s idea will be accepted. And some of what they came up with is very clever (Benedict Cumberbatch has a short-lived blast playing an androgynous model named “All” and Kristen Wiig is superb as a Donatella Versace-ed abomination) while Hansel’s incessant orgies ring a little lamer.
There are more cameos than you can shake your booty at, from world-famous designers to tough-guy TV stars to former supermodels. In fact, it becomes more a game of “Guess Who?” than a proper plot-driven story, and although that’s plenty of fun, it renders the film utterly disposable and probably not worth many people’s $18.50.