Zoolander 2 lacks the charisma of original movie

After 15 years of waiting, Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) have returned fashionably late. Zoolander 2 had some decent moments that were unfortunately outweighed by a trying- too-hard-to-be-something-it’s-not feel. The film definitely did its best to captivate viewers just like the first did, but with slow, conventional writing, it proved unsuccessful and lacked a certain authenticity to it. While it didn’t live up to the expectations the first beloved film gave moviegoers, the sequel did have a number of celebrity cameos and funny one-liners that made the film a little more bearable.

The film begins as if it were something out of James Bond movies; speeding motorcycles are seen chasing the person of interest, who in this case is pop superstar Justin Bieber. What better way to start the film than with the assassination of Bieber? Just before he dies, he makes sure to tell his killers, “You can’t kill us all; we will protect the chosen one,” and his life ends — but not before he takes one last selfie. The scene sets the tone for the rest of the movie: humor, melodrama and danger all compiled into a film about the comeback story of two has-been male models.

The year is 2016, over a decade of trends and technology, Zoolander and Hansel have just come out of hiding to re-establish their modeling careers after tragic events ruin them. Immediately, the two are offered a gig in Rome by trending fashion designer Don Atari (Kyle Mooney). A myriad of celebrity cameos are made the night of the big fashion runway show, with appearances by Benedict Cumberbatch, Skrillex and Joe Jonas. Though the famed models make their way down the runway, they are mocked and shamed for their outdated careers in the industry.

After this moment, the plot begins to thicken, and the audience learns through the help of Zoolander’s love interest, Valentina (Penelope Cruz), that his son’s life is in mortal danger. Thus, Zoolander, Hansel and Valentina embark on a mission to rescue Derek Jr., who is chubby, awkward and far from model-esque. At this point, enter more cameos from Neil deGrasse Tyson, Willie Nelson and Sting that make up for poor acting and low-grade jokes.

The film’s antagonist, Mugatu (Will Ferrel), is locked up in a fashion prison, where he is then visited by Zoolander in the hopes of finding out more information about his son. With this return, Mugatu manages to make Zoolander look just as stupid as he did in the first film. Mugatu then escapes from the prison and returns to his evil doings that involve Derek Jr. Zoolander is determined to rescue his flawed son at the “IncrediBall,” where all the top fashion designers will be gathering.

At the IncrediBall, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and fashion designers Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Vera Wang and Valentino Garavani are all thrown together in a bathhouse sporting black, spooky robes.The cult-like setting is led by Mugatu, and the climax unfolds. This scene was definitely the funniest of the entire film. With long overdue revelations and Mugatu sharing his smart sense of humor, the whole audience was left laughing.

Though the film had many cheap moments, it managed to make a full, coherent circle and incorporated profound elements from the first film, almost as if paying reverence, with the theme of “who am I?” asked by both Zoolander and Hansel. At the end of the film, both gain the answer to this existential question.

Overall, the resolution works out for almost everyone, and Zoolander and Hansel make a successful return back on the catwalk. Ultimately, this film was not Stiller’s best work, yet it had a few funny moments that stuck out. With random cameos from Susan Boyle to Katy Perry, it was definitely a star-studded lineup of actors. This film is not meant to be seen during a family outing with young children, and while it’s funny the first time around, it’s not worth seeing again.