Saturday, 20 April 2019

Sequel’s likely to be runway over the top

IF YOU pitched a film telling the story of a dim-witted male model brainwashed to assassinate the prime

IF YOU pitched a film telling the story of a dim-witted male model brainwashed to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia, it’s likely you’d have been laughed out of the room.

But that’s exactly what Ben Stiller did 15 years ago when he directed and starred in the 2001 hit Zoolander.

The film became a cult classic and since then Stiller’s been laughing all the way to the bank.

It’s no surprise, then, that a sequel hits our screens this week. The only question for many fans will simply be: what took you so long?

After the absurdity and hilarity of the first film, expectations will be high for Stiller, and his wonderfully outrageous characters, to deliver once again. When we last saw male models Derek Zoolander and Hansel (Owen Wilson), they were enjoying the wonders of the Derek Zoolander Centre for Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too. Arch-nemesis Mugatu, played by the scene-stealing Will Ferrell, was firmly behind bars.

An unforeseen catastrophe strikes the centre and forces the duo into seclusion, living off the grid.

Fifteen age-defying years later we find a still-shamed Derek and Hansel leading isolated, separate lives, shut out from the rest of the world.

When each receives a special invitation to star in a major world fashion event in Rome, they are unable to deny the allure of returning to their former glory and make their way back to civilisation.

Upon arrival, Derek and Hansel meet the bizarre and eccentric designers that are behind the new fashion empire.

The two rapidly realise the fashion world they once knew has drastically changed, thrusting them awkwardly and literally back into the spotlight. While they struggle to find relevance in this strange new world of blogging, vlogging, and anti-fashion fashion, they are recruited to help foil a calculated and deadly plot that if not stopped would destroy forever the hopes for fashion to return to its formerly revered and glorious status.

New faces this time around include Penelope Cruz and Kristen Wiig, while Zoolander’s love interest Matilda Jeffries, played by Stiller’s wife Christine Taylor, makes a welcome return.

Celebrities joining in the fun include Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian West, Billy Zane, Lenny Kravitz, Kanye West and Lewis Hamilton.

Zoolander 2 is showing at Henley’s Regal Cinema from today (Friday).

Review: David White

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