The premise for Ben Stiller’s long-awaited sequel to Zoolander (appropriately and idiotically styled as 2oolander) sets up for a revolving door of cameos. Similar to its predecessor, male model Derek Zoolander (Stiller) finds himself the pawn in a political spy game. A shadow syndicate is assassinating the world’s most beautiful people, including Justin Bieber, who strikes the patented Blue Steel pose before kicking the bucket. It’s up to Derek, Hansel (Owen Wilson), and Penélope Cruz’s government operative to cut the streak short.
Faces are made. Slapstick is slapped. Famous people parade in and out. Will Ferrell’s Mugatu shows up. Zoolander remains illiterate (but appears sans orange mocha frappuccino). This is a Zoolander movie.
And a Zoolander movie plays to a very specific crowd. Worth remembering: The original tanked when it arrived on the ill-fated date of Sept. 28, 2001, a delicate time when even Saturday Night Live had to ask permission to be funny again and few were laughing at Stiller’s absurdist take on fashion extravagance and Manchurian Candidate-style terrorism. Thankfully, Zoolander found new life in college dorms. Today, it's described as “cult,” but it's not, really. Gen X-ers and millennials alike can flash one of Derek’s puckered looks on command. So will the next generation give a damn about the sequel? Have they gorged enough America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway, and Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to be in on the joke?
Maybe not. But Stiller thought ahead. 2oolander includes this bit of brilliance: