(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR! It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet. So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR! She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by Wednesday, November 30th! Will she make it? Keep checking the site to find out!)
On October 14th, I recorded Zoolander 2 off of Epix.
A sequel to the 2001 cult hit, Zoolander 2 came out earlier this year and got absolutely terrible reviews and quickly vanished from theaters. Watching the film last night, I could understand why it got such terrible reviews. Zoolander 2 is not only a terrible movie but it’s also a rather bland one. Somehow, the blandness is even more offensive than the badness.
Zoolander 2 opens with Justin Bieber getting assassinated and Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) being forced to come out of retirement and discover why pop stars are being targeted. And, of course, Zoolander can’t do it without the help of Hansel (Owen Wilson)! Penelope Cruz is in the film as well, playing Zoolander’s handler and essentially being wasted in a role that could have been played by anyone.
Oh! And Will Ferrell returns as well. Ferrell gives a performance that essentially shouts out to the world, “Fuck you, I’m Will Ferrell and no one is going to tell Will Ferrell to tone his shit down!”
Actually, I think everyone in the world is in Zoolander 2. This is one of those films that is full of cameos from people who probably thought a silly comedy would be good for their image. For instance, there’s a huge number of journalists who show up playing themselves. Matt Lauer shows up and I get the feeling that we’re supposed to be happy about that. There was a reason why people cheered when the sharks ate him in Sharknado 3.
You know who else shows up as himself? Billy Zane! And Billy Zane has exactly the right type of attitude for a film like this. He shows up and he mocks the whole enterprise by giving the Billy Zaniest performance of Billy Zane’s career. For that matter, Kiefer Sutherland also shows up as himself. I’m not really sure what Kiefer was doing in the film but he makes sure to deliver all of his lines in that sexy growl of his. Kiefer knows what we want to hear.
You may notice that I’m not talking about the plot of Zoolander 2. That’s largely because I couldn’t follow the plot. This is an incredibly complicated film but it’s not complicated in a funny way. Instead, it’s complicated in a way that suggests that the film was made up on the spot. It’s as if the cast said, “We’re all funny! Just turn on the camera and we’ll make it work!”
The problem with Zoolander 2 is obvious. The first film pretty much exhausted the comic possibilities of making a spy film about shallow and stupid models. Don’t get me wrong — the first film did a good job but it’s not like it left any material untapped. But I would ask you to indulge me as I imagine an alternate reality.
Consider this: Terrence Malick was reportedly a huge fun of Zoolander.
Let’s take just a minute to imagine a world in which Ben Stiller asked Terrence Malick to write and direct Zoolander 2. And let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that Malick agreed!
Just think about it — 4 hours of Zoolander and Hansel staring up at the sky and thinking about nature. “What is this thing that causes the heart of man to beat?” Zoolander asks. “Are we nature or has nature become us?” Hansel replies.
That would have been a fun film!