How embarrassingly naive it was to think DIRTY GRANDPA would be the low point in cinematic comedy this year. Even though there are more laughs per hour (about three) in ZOOLANDER 2, the waste factor of lost potential, talent and opportunity make this the more severe violation of the two. I'd love to know what kind of dinner had to be thrown to convince the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Wang, Valentino, Marc Jacobs and...gulp...Anna Wintour to appear as dark hooded cultists, offering a child up for human sacrifice. Or how much wine had to flow to make them forget they said yes, but I'm sure everyone hated themselves in the morning.
Of the dozens of celebrity cameos featured it would be difficult to choose the most unfortunate, but my vote would have to go to Susan Sarandon jumping from a dog-pile of orgy participants to exclaim, "Toucha, toucha touch me, I wanna be dirty."
What makes this mess all the more confounding is the fact that the only film sequel I'm aware of that enjoyed the equivalent degree of time and expensive preproduction is the overlong-awaited AVATAR 2! Perhaps that is why the script is as confusing and convoluted as an early MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie and has three times the production values it needs. There's nothing lazy about the production; to the contrary, it's full-blast, full-time. The first twenty minutes I thought, "Well this isn't THAT bad," but ZOOLANDER 2 gets worse as it goes along until it's like eating too many barbecued potato chips on an empty stomach.
When things go right, like when Kristen Wiig shows up as the female foreign fashionista or Will Ferrell reprises his role as evil Mugatu, it reminds you how fun the original underrated ZOOLANDER was, yet solidifies what an over-produced and unnecessarily dark entry this one is. You have to ask yourself; if shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Fallon, et al can deliver at least sixty minutes a week of truly superior comedy writing, how damn difficult should it be to make a ninety minute funny movie with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as overaged super-models? Especially when you've got fifteen years and every comedy writer in Hollywood to help at any price.
Unless star-vanity was a barrier, and no one could say, "Boys, this isn't working, we're dancing too hard here." Maybe this is why they didn't really indulge or explore the most obvious opportunity for laughs: They're too old to be male models. The lovingly lit, overly made-up celebrities would lead one to believe the producers/stars can't exploit it because they can't face it. What a shame, because ZOOLANDER 2 could have benefited from an honest laugh...
Only do this at home if you must.
(Loudinni provides movie reviews 500 words or less.)