We don’t want it to be true, but Hansel is not so hot right now. Look away Zoolander fans, the reviews for the sequel are in – and they are ripping Ben Stiller’s film to be shreds.
Critics in the USA have been especially scathing, with Variety’s Justin Chang branding the film “the orange mocha crappuccino of movie sequels”. A simply brilliant line – we thank him for that.
In addition, David Rooney, writing in The Hollywood Reporter, said: “Despite its relentless name-checking, Zoolander 2 functions strictly within its own goofy screen-comedy universe, so its satire is toothless. The dim-witted Derek Zoolander, his former runway rival Hansel (Owen Wilson, back in full butterscotch-stallion mode), and tantrum-throwing monster Mugatu are stitched into a high-concept story of celebrity serial murders, a mythical promise of eternal youth and a conspiracy to wipe out the most influential figures in fashion. By comparison, the original movie’s plot to brainwash Derek into assassinating the Malaysian prime minister seems a model of linear clarity. The bigger issue, however, is that not one of the patchy sequel’s threads really holds together, even within the elastic boundaries of farce.”
The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde said: “Even with four writers on hand, this smacks of “we’ll make up something hilarious on the spot,” never accounting for the fact that everyone in the cast seems at least a little jet-lagged. Scene partners don’t seem to be on the same frequency, and the timing often falls flat, and the result is a movie that – in my audience, anyway – exhausted the good will and anticipation of people who were hoping to be entertained but ultimately capitulated to the general airlessness of the final product.”
Chris Nashawaty took harsh to another level in Entertainment Weekly: “The flop sweat drips from the opening scene, where a labored Justin Bieber gag barely elicits a chuckle but provides the film with its lazy plot trigger: Who’s killing the world’s biggest pop stars? It’s all downhill from there as Stiller and co-writers Justin Theroux, John Hamburg, and Nicholas Stoller flail at the lowest-hanging pop culture fruit. As it is, though, Zoolander No. 2 is embarrassing, lazy, and aggressively unfunny. The only good news is that at the pace the franchise is moving, we won’t get Zoolander 3 until 2030.”
Brits might enjoy Zoolander 2 marginally more, judging by some surprisingly favourable UK reviews.
NME’s Olly Richards was “amused” despite the “hit-and-miss” jokes, while Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw bemoaned the lack of “new stuff” but “still felt some warmth”. Helen O’Hara found the movie “pleasingly ridiculous”, writing in The Telegraph that “if this is Derek’s swan song, he leaves amid a flurry of feathers and bustle”. Hmmm, we’re counting on it being an absolute disaster though, pretty much like Anchorman 2.