Zoolander 2 (2016)

Zoolander 2, the sequel to the now classic Zoolander, was better than I was led to believe. It seems to have failed to meet high expectations, but I didn’t think it was incoherent (whereas Point Break (2015), for example, was).

It had an interesting plot, but it wasn’t all plot… it had themes, too!

⦁    failure
⦁    ageing
⦁    fatherhood
⦁    abandonment
⦁    gender identity
⦁    obesity
⦁    loss

In fact, maybe there were too many themes. I’m not sure there was a theme overall, because all the issues that were raised were worked out in the end, and it’s not clear which was the central one. It’s not clear that a comedy would really need one, though… can’t a successful comedy just be an endless string of mostly unrelated jokes? Recycled jokes, even?

I liked Don Atari, the character who spoke nonsense, thus adding a lot to the “stranger in a strange world” disconnect that Derek and Hansel struggled with when they returned to the world of fashion. It was really painful to see how they were treated in their fashion relaunch, but that was the point.

I usually find comedy hard to stomach because inevitably some of the one-off jokes are offensive or just disgusting; certainly that’s true here. Nevertheless, other jokes succeed. Probably no two people would agree which jokes were funny and which weren’t.

I probably overlooked more than half the celebrity cameos since I don’t follow celebrity or fashion news. The cameos seem to be a major reason the movie was criticized… they’ll seem even less relevant to the movie in the future when these celebrities are less well known, assuming people even watch this movie in the future. Who knows, though? The first Zoolander movie wasn’t popular when it was first released either.