Zoolander 2

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Zoolander 2 Movie Poster Image
Racy sequel to cult comedy hit is a hot (but funny) mess.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

While there's a lot of shallow behavior on display (as well as jokes at others' expense, including a character who's overweight), underneath the surface is the idea that sometimes when you're down and out, there's nowhere to go but up. Also, don't be defeated by challenges; instead, regroup and come up better and wiser.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Derek and Hansel may not be the smartest or deepest of characters, but they usually mean well and are totally without guile, which is somewhat appealing. Jokes are made at an overweight character's expense.

Violence

A gunshot draws blood and ultimately kills its victim. One character wants to blow up a room full of famous fashion folks out of sheer spite and bitterness. A man throws a knife at another, stabbing him in the cheek; the same knife is later used to stab someone in the thigh. Though blood is shown, these scenes are intended to be funny.

Sex

Plenty of innuendo, and several jokes about both breast size and orgies. No graphic nudity/simulated sex in the orgy scenes, but the groupings include women, men, and animals; related discussion of the resulting pregnancies (a turn of events that freaks one character out). After a character flashes her cleavage, two men are visibly aroused. One scene shows character briefly touching a woman's (clothed) breast at her invitation. A man inadvertently tells a kid about a sexual encounter the man had with the kid's mother.

Language

Strong but relatively infrequent language includes "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," and one "f--k."

Consumerism

Many products/brands seen/mentioned: Netflix, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Uber, CNN, Valentino, Facebook, Instagram, Samsung, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking by adult characters.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zoolander 2 -- the highly anticipated sequel to star Ben Stiller's 2001's silly but edgy modeling comedy Zoolander -- has a lot of similar content, from violence and mayhem played for laughs to jokes about orgies (and tons of cameos, natch). While there's no graphic nudity or actual simulated sex on display, the orgy scenes involve groups that include men, women, and animals. There's other innuendo, breast-size jokes, and sexual references as well. Characters are shot and stabbed, and other murders are planned. There's some swearing, including one "f--k," as well as social drinking and plenty of blatant product placement. Jokes are made at the expense of a kid who's overweight.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byBinge W. May 20, 2018

M+

This movie had me laughing my butt off. It was really good. There was one sexual reference of an o**y that was taken very crudely that was for mature audience... Continue reading
Adult Written byThePorgsHaveCome March 7, 2018

laughing and saying “yuck..”

It’s a funny pull on fashion, but the constant sexy humour all film long is not my thing.
I wouldn’t watch again, I just can’t stand sexy humour, it’s not my t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byChezchadbread February 22, 2016

Not as good as the original

This sequel is more inappropriate than the classic, which is also much funnier. You can tell that the filmmakers are trying to make this film marketable to teen... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJustAnotherTeen February 20, 2016

Very funny! However, quite rude

Zoolander 2 was hilarious! I saw it today and I must say, I did NOT leave the theatre disappointed! I believe that if you think you're 13 year old is matur... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's been years since supermodel Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) stopped a deadly weapon with his signature "look," Magnum, and built the Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good, and things aren't looking so great for him. His school collapsed, killing his wife and injuring his best friend, Hansel (Owen Wilson), who now won't speak to Derek and has retired from modeling, spending his days with his perpetual orgy. When the tabloids photograph Derek losing his temper while attempting to make spaghetti for his son, Child Protective Services whisks the boy away, leaving Derek holed up in the wilds of northern New Jersey. Then Billy Zane (reprising his role as himself from the original) shows up with an invitation for Derek to attend a fashion show hosted by the supreme fashionista, Alexanya Atoz (Kristen Wiig). Reunited in Rome, Derek and Hansel find themselves roped into a murderous plot hatched by the evil Mugatu (Will Ferrell), who still hates Derek. 

Is it any good?

To enjoy ZOOLANDER 2 is to ignore all the usual ways in which you measure fine filmmaking (like plot and story arc), because a) it's a hot mess, and b) it's still funny. Nostalgia fuels the comedy, from the moment we spot Derek in all his high-haired, narcissistic glory (and brief morose "hermit crab" stint) and Hansel in his loopy, laid-back ditziness. There are few better buddies to pair up in a buddy comedy than these two. (They're well-matched by Penelope Cruz as a swimsuit-model-turned-Interpol-investigator; she holds her own against the returning stars' wackiness.)

That the storyline -- something about the fountain of youth and Derek's son -- makes absolutely no sense (and is uncomfortable to boot, given that it makes fun of a young boy's weight) doesn't fully detract from the enjoyment of seeing Derek and Hansel back in action. But make no mistake, this movie is silly, crude, and even a bit outdated with all the jokes about supermodels, their (lack of) intellect, and their obsession with weight. It's also sometimes irritating in its zany mindlessness. But anything with Stiller, Wiig, Ferrell, and Wilson deserves watching ... as long as you adjust all expectations accordingly.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Zoolander 2's messages. In theory, it's mocking the shallower aspects of fashion and celebrity culture, but it also makes jokes at the expense of an overweight character. Is that inappropriate or in keeping with the film's themes? Can media affect kids' body image?

  • Derek and Hansel are portrayed as airheaded supermodels: Is that a cliche? How does the movie balance its affection for the characters with its commentary on models and fashion?

  • Does the film work as a sequel? What are the perils of following up on a movie that's become a cult favorite?

  • Who's the intended audience of this movie? Why do so many people love silly comedies? Why do different types of humor appeal to different people?

Movie details

  • In theaters: February 12, 2016
  • On DVD or streaming: May 24, 2016
  • Cast: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz
  • Director: Ben Stiller
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 102 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content, a scene of exaggerated violence, and brief strong language
  • Last updated: September 20, 2019

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