Ben Stiller has this unique, admirable ability to mock and parody pop culture and yet revere it at the same time.
I've just given you the entire theme of “Zoolander 2” without revealing an inch of the plot.
Zoolander 2 is a follow up to the first Zoolander film which was more of a cult hit than box office smash. In short, it made a big impression on people who mattered: Art people, fashion people, film people and pop culture loving people who like to laugh.
Director/Writer Stiller also has a very specific sense of humor. It doesn't connect with everyone, but he's smart and sometimes profound, yet dry and sometimes silly. His humor is biting yet not mean or nasty. What I love is the fact that hope always trumps cynicism with Stiller. Don't we need that? It's so easy to be cynical these days. Being hopeful is a tougher trick.
The cast is jam-packed with Hollywood names and many names from the fashion world. I'm talking heavyweights here. Go see for yourself. The fact that these people chose to do the film speaks to Stiller's respect for the very thing he's mocking throughout the movie.
Penelope Cruz is hot as usual. This film was clearly an acting breeze for her.
Stiller also has a strong, artful eye. The art direction in this film is great. Also, a quick shout out for Owen Wilson. He's one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood. He has the chops to do more dramatic roles, but I'm sure he's going with what he's being offered. I could see him in legal dramas or "man accused" type roles. If he wants to do those roles, I think he’ll have to develop them himself.
In a nutshell, Zoolander 2 isn't Shakespeare, although its social commentary is almost as astute. It’s a wacky comedy that will give you a nice lift on a cold, dreary day. By the way, keep your eyes peeled for Will Ferrell who delivers his usual hijinks, plus Kristen Wiig and Benedict Cumberbatch.
They do vacuous, over-intellectualized deadpan even better than Donatella ... IF you can possibly imagine that.