ADAM GRAHAM

Review: ‘Zoolander 2’ as empty as the world it spoofs

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Watching “Zoolander 2” is like being at a party and running into someone you haven’t seen in 15 years. At first you’re happy to see them and it’s fun catching up, but soon you realize you don’t have much to talk about. By the end of the night you’re avoiding them altogether and hoping you don’t see each other for another 15 years.

So much for making up for lost time. “Zoolander 2’s” first half hour is peppered with mild laughs, but the welcome soon wears thin. Zoolander’s return would make a good “SNL” sketch or Funny or Die short, but as a movie, it’s as empty as the world it’s spoofing.

Of course, the emptiness and stupidity of the modeling world is the whole point, but not enough to excuse the rickety laziness of “Zoolander 2,” which amounts to a parade of celebrity cameos masquerading as a movie. There’s no use spoiling the cameos, they’re the most fun “Zoo 2” has to offer.

Ben Stiller (who also directs), Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell are back, joined by Penelope Cruz (as an INTERPOL agent assigned to fashion crimes), an unrecognizable Kristen Wiig and a host of fashion and pop stars.

The plot has something to do with Zoolander’s son (Cyrus Arnold) and the search for the fountain of youth, but it’s more about our heroes reclaiming their glory in a world of selfie sticks and social media, neither of which existed when “Zoolander” was released in 2001.

Zoolander’s narcissism and his Blue Steel gaze prefaced selfie culture so, in a way, the character was ahead of his time. But hearing him say things like “hashtag oops” make him feel like a relic of the immediate past.

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

‘Zoolander 2’

GRADE: C-

Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong lanaguage

Running time: 100 minutes