Zoolander 2 picks up fifteen years after the first, with Zoolander in hiding after an accident occurred and his child, Derek Jr. (Cyrus Arnold), was taken away from him. After hearing about a new fashion icon, Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig), rising in the fashion world, Zoolander returns from hibernation to give modelling another shot, and who does he happen to find there? His old buddy, Hansel, who's also been in hiding, but for very different reasons. Things are beginning to look up, but it doesn't take long before everything comes crumbling down. Secret agent Valentina (Penélope Cruz) comes for the two of them, hoping to get their help in investigating a case involving the death of beautiful celebrities, all of whom have died while giving off one of Zoolander's signature looks.
Zoolander 2 has to be the single most ridiculous film I have seen in ages. In fact, I highly doubt that another film in 2016 will manage to be half as ridiculous as this one is. It's a wild and wacky ride as these iconic characters are put into the weirdest of scenarios. If you thought the first film was crazy, you haven't seen anything yet. While the first is funnier, it could almost be considered tame when compared to its follow up. Ben Stiller is clearly having a great time making one of the most outrageous movies I have ever seen, and the film has no shame in being this. It's almost proud of its ridiculousness in a weird way.
Comedy sequels are really hard to nail, most just doing a complete remake of the first, but with new, not quite as funny jokes. When it comes to Zoolander 2, it's really hard to tell whether or not they just rehashed the first film. On the one hand, there are plenty of callbacks to the first film, or at least similar scenarios. On the other hand, whenever these similar scenes happen, Ben Stiller takes them in a direction you don't expect, seemingly poking fun at the comedy sequel formula. It's hard to tell whether or not this move was deliberate, but because the jokes manage to work, it's all fine in my books.
Even by Zoolander standards, this film is just dumb. There are jokes that work, and these jokes work really well, and then there are jokes that are arguably too dumb, and they fall flat. The film tries too hard to get laughs, and some of the time it comes across as awkward and unfunny. It misses almost as many times as it hits, but thankfully, when the jokes do hit, they hit hard. Everything else, however, just.... doesn't. But the thing is, I'm talking about Zoolander 2 here. What was I really expecting? The Zoolander films were never meant to be taken seriously, but hey, at least the first film didn't try so hard that it fell flat on its face. At least that one flowed smoothly.