So, it’s been quite a while since my last post of any sort on this blog. If you’re out there in internet-land and you’ve been sorely missing regular posts here, I have a few things to say:
- Are you okay? Do you need some help figuring your life out?
- Are you aware that there are many better blogs out there for any number of purposes that this one might have filled?
- Thank you.
- I’m sorry.
That said, here’s my cannarf review of the new movie Zoolander 2. What’s a cannarf, you ask? Well, it’s essentially a completely subjective scale where you rate things from -10 to 10 based on how it was vs. how you expected it to be. Ergo, it’s all about expectations.
For Zoolander 2, I’ll be honest – as much as I dearly love the first movie (and when I say love I mean “watch it at least once a year and still laugh out loud” love…), expectations were pretty low for this one.
The best new material in this movie mostly involved Billy Zane, Sting, and Kiefer Sutherland. Let that sink in for a minute.
The Billy Zane connection with Zoolander goes back to just one scene in the original, but that scene had a certain quality about it that just resonated. I remember watching the original Zoolander and only knowing Billy Zane from a crappy made-for-TBS movie that he did in the late 90s. Didn’t matter. “Put a cork in it, Zane!” was still an amazing line from the movie’s title character.
Kiefer Sutherland’s parts in Zoolander 2 were even better because of the seriousness with which he approached them contrasted with the ridiculousness of the situation. He basically played a version of himself, combined with Jack Bauer, with a healthy dose of emotional trainwreck mixed in. He sort of stole the show.
And, after the whole, “I guess one of my role models would have to be Sting. I’m not really – I don’t really listen to his music, but the fact that he’s out there making it… That inspires me” bit from Hansel in the first movie. The (SPOILER) revelation that he is Hansel’s father in this movie was a really nice touch.
Oh, and KYLE MOONEY! His character is possibly the most memorable and (hopefully) quotable one in Zoolander 2. The whole “Aw, man! You guys are so old and out of touch! You’re dinosaurs, and look like fools. I hated everything about what you did. You’re awesome,” schtick was what my wife and I walked out laughing about the most.
What Didn’t Work
Basically everything else. The formula for a movie like this has to be the same as a male model walk-off, right? First movie walks, second movie duplicates and elaborates… There’s never enough elaboration in comedy sequels 10+ years after the fact (see Anchorman 2, Dumb and Dumber Too), and Zoolander 2 was no exception.
There was a real missed opportunity to build the legend of Derek Zoolander, too, in my opinion. Part of Mugatu’s rage in the original is directed at how Zoolander’s signature looks (Ferrari, La Tigra, Blue Steel) are all just the same look. There’s a moment in Zoolander 2 where another character mistakenly identifies a look on a deceased celebrity’s face as Blue Steel. Zoolander objects that it’s a different look called Aqua Vitae, and they use advanced computers to detect “over 14,000 facial variations” between Aqua Vitae and Blue Steel. The implication is that Zoolander is, in fact, a genius with a massively expressive face the likes of which mere fashion mortals can never understand, but only hope to appreciate. However, the joke never went farther than that.
Outside of that – Fred Armison was weird; Kristen Wiig was not very funny; and all of the other celebrity cameos (outside of the ones mentioned in the “What Worked” section) felt like, “Oh, there’s so and so… Hmmm…” And, in relation to Armison and Wiig – I’m speaking of their characters, of course. I think they are both very funny, and probably did the best they could with the mediocre script.
Verdict – 0 Cannarfs
Zoolander 2 was pretty much exactly what I thought it would be. No surprises, no disappointments. If you’re thinking about seeing it in theaters, I wouldn’t. Unless you’re a die-hard Zoolander fan (like my wife and I are), or you’re buying your tickets with someone else’s money (gift card, baby!), you’ll probably end up thinking you wasted your money.
But what do I know… Have you seen Zoolander 2? What was your take?