Blu-ray Review Comedy

'Zoolander 2' Blu-ray Review: Fashionably dumb, or too dumb to be fashionable?

May 30, 2016Ben MK

As a comedy duo, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson have done it all, from comedies about crazy in-laws, to a film franchise about museum artifacts that come to life, to a remake of a '70s buddy cop TV show. Now the pair are out to recapture the magic of their most memorable team-up, 2001's Zoolander, reprising their roles as dim-witted male models out to save the world.

Last time around, the devious doings that set the plot into motion had to do with a scheme to assassinate a world leader. This time, it's a string of murders targeting the world's most beautiful stars, from Madonna to Justin Bieber. And since they've all seen it fit to post selfies of themselves in a pose reminiscent of "Blue Steel" in their dying moments, the head of Interpol's "Global Fashion Division," Valentina Valencia (Penélope Cruz), thinks there's only one man who can help them crack the case — former three-time Male Model of the Year Derek Zoolander (Stiller).

If the storyline sounds utterly nonsensical, that's because it most assuredly is. But while the film does a commendable job setting up its various intersecting story threads, Stiller and co-writers Justin Theroux, Nicholas Stoller and John Hamburg are sadly unable — or perhaps unwilling — to follow through. Instead, they seem content with letting the movie devolve into a parade of celebrity cameos and stale humor, settling for recycled punchlines, annoying gags and nostalgic throwbacks as a lazy alternative to creating anything that might resemble real parody.

That being said, Zoolander 2 isn't completely devoid of redeeming qualities (after all, any movie that kills off Justin Bieber in a hail of machine gun fire can't be all bad). Still, when it comes to its ability to be genuinely witty, the film feels less like a cutting-edge trendsetter and more like a cheap designer knockoff. Yes, fans of the first movie will no doubt get a kick out of seeing their favorite characters on-screen again. But once the initial thrill wears off, Zoolander 2 becomes just another tiresome retread, the kind that went out of fashion many, many seasons ago.

Zoolander 2 struts onto Blu-ray with a 1080p transfer that, like the film itself, isn't without its share of problems. While picture quality is reasonably crisp and detailed, color intensity and contrast levels appear to have been dialed up somewhat, resulting in impressively vivid hues and deep blacks, but at the expense of a noticeable degree of black crush. Otherwise, the disc's primary audio track, a DTS:X sound mix, fares much better, delivering crystal-clear dialogue and an assortment of electronic, '80s pop and Italian-language songs, not to mention a smattering of action effects like gunfire and explosions.

Paramount's two-disc Blu-ray release includes an iTunes/UltraViolet digital copy, a DVD and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • The Zoolander Legacy (9:02) - The cast and crew reflect on the first film and talk about the development of the sequel.
  • Go Big or Go Rome (7:38) - The cast and crew rave about shooting in Rome, talk about their favorite locales, and praise the local film crews.
  • Drake Sather: The Man Who Created Zoolander (8:26) - A piece about late comedian Drake Sather and his role in creating the Zoolander character.
  • Youth Milk (1:30) - A fake ad starring Kristin Wiig in character as Alexanya Atoz.

Zoolander 2 is available from Paramount Home Entertainment as of May 24th, 2016. The Blu-ray features English DTS:X, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, English DTS Headphone:X and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 41 Mins.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on February 12th, 2016.

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