Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Zoolander 2 ★1/2

Image result for Zoolander 2 film stills Stiller Cruz


    There should be a new golden rule in Hollywood: If a sequel cannot be generated within a reasonable time frame, let's say a decade after the original, then please, do us all a favor and leave the script in the wastebasket where it belongs. As a matter of fact, make it five years. This way, critics can avoid writing condemnatory pieces littered with sarcasm and phrases that are as scornful as much as they are sincere; perhaps audiences can protect themselves (and their wallets) from pictures that are just plain awful—"really, really ridiculously" awful. (I would like to apologize in advance for what will indisputably become a scathing and negative review. One must know that it doesn't give me pleasure.)

    Of course, timing is seldom used as a determiner of a movie's merit, but you know, sometimes it should be. It is universally accepted that sequels, no matter the sort, rarely give rise to good results, and if they linger in development limbo for too long, the end product will usually speak of this notion. And yet, that doesn't seem to be the case here. "Zoolander 2" practically followed the same production path as "Dumb and Dumber To," which really just means that it was created out of desperation as opposed to prolonged and poor decision making. (Both films seem to give off this sense of enervation as if the comedic minds behind the scenes had exhausted every last feasible joke and bad pun.) Now, I'm not saying that Ben Stiller made this movie because he ran of material, but perhaps there was a paucity of projects ready for producing.

    So, just how lousy is "Zoolander 2?" Well, apart from the film's imbecilic plot and distasteful dialogue, there is a plentitude of jests that clearly fall short of comical, and the entire moviegoing experience can best be summarized as uninterestingly flat and astoundingly vexatious. (The term "dullsville" did come to mind on more than one occasion.) And the fact that it is predominantly nonsensical has nothing to do with itI mean, it surely has the same stupidity that powered the originaljust with less laughter. Mirthful moments are superseded by celebrity cameos, and much like the twosome of Harry and Lloyd, it is the characters' unceasing staticity that necessitates failure. (Derek Zoolander is just about the dumbest on-screen persona I've ever encountered; his lack of intelligence deserves our sympathy, not our enjoyment.)

    I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Regardless of how you spin it, "Zoolander 2" is scarcely entertaining. I can hear the retorts now"But comedy is subjective." Although a factual statement, I am speaking on behalf of the individuals who have an intellectual endowment beyond that of a five-year-old child. (The film's aim at satire is far more saddening than it is humorous; there are so many misfires and poorly executed punchlines that I almost felt bad for the actors who had to read such rubbish.) "The Cable Guy" was funny. "Tropic Thunder" was, may I say, borderline ingenious. "Zoolander 2" is simply shameful.

    It's rather hard for me to place all the blame on Ben Stiller (he is verily one of the last great comedy figures left in Hollywood), but as you can see, there is no other option. He wrote, directed and marketed this miserable excuse for a movie, and it is moments like these when I can't help but question as to what a filmmaker was thinking. But let's focus on the positives, shall we? "Zoolander 2" may be a shoddy addition to the comedy genre, yet it also serves as a first-class example of wasteful spending. Instead of committing to a project of this caliber, Stiller could have continued his journey as a director with pictures like "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," which was a story that needed to be told. This is one of those films that I'm sure was a riot to make but painful for us to watch.

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