Monday 7 March 2016

Zoolander No. 2 ... Unfashionable

I DIDN'T see Zoolander (2001), in which a clueless fashion model (Ben Stiller) is brainwashed into
killing the Malaysian prime minister. The film, naturally, was never shown in Malaysia.
   Now comes Zoolander No. 2, directed by Stiller, which tries so hard to be funny to spoof the fashion industry that it falls flat on its face. For instance, viewers are supposed to rejoice seeing Stiller's character get hit in the face three consecutive times with items thrown at him.

  Stiller also believes that populating the film with cameos of fashion and TV personalities will boost his film, but alas, that too turns into a whimper.
   At the start, we see Derek Zoolander (Stiller) living like a hermit, cut off from civilisation. But Billy Zane (see what  I mean) gets him purring again. Zoolander has lost his son to child services in Rome, and he thinks that taking on a job will get him into their good books, and get his child back.
  His partner in crime Hansel (Owen Wilson) lives in a sex commune and the news that the residents may be pregnant with  his kids sends shivers down his spine.
  Zoolander says: "I have lost the fire." This is similar to what Billy Crystal's character says in City Slickers (1991). Zoolander also says: "Who am I?"
Stiller keeps abreast of fashion trends.
   His attempts to reconcile with his chubby son, Derek Jr (Cyrus Arnold), backfires. Derek Jr rebuffs his father and says that his father is the most narcissistic person he's ever met.
  Hansel tells Zoolander: "How can you expect love when you don't even love  yourself?"
   Derek blames himself for the death of his wife Matilda (Christine Taylor), who was killed when a huge book-shaped structure he had built in New York crumbles into a river.
  Salma Hayek dresses in a skintight red outfit to play Interpol (Fashion Unit) agent Valentina Valencia. She uses her accent, brains and bosoms to get to the bottom of the killings of pop stars (Justin Bieber included).
  Will Ferrell appears as a dastardly comical kingpin.
   As I said earlier, the film lacks humour, but it does exhibit a beating heart for a character wanting to have a semblance of a family life
  Hansel says at the end: "We're going to be a family. That's all that matters."

1 out of 5 stars

(From left) Stiller, Wilson and Hayek in 'Zoolander 2'.

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