February 16, 2016
In a recent review, Leonard Maltin explained that, for the first time in his career, he walked out of a movie he was intending to review. Unsurprisingly, that movie was Zoolander 2.
But as I embarked on the experience of watching Zoolander 2 at a press screening the other night, I had an immediate reaction of annoyance and impatience. The film was stupid right from the start. I told myself that I was wasting my time for no good reason.
Still, I stayed. Ten minutes passed, then twenty, filled with puerile and unfunny gags; along with gratuitous cameo appearances by everyone from Katy Perry to Willie Nelson. If even one of them had seemed clever I might have summoned some hope for the rest of the picture, but it was not to be.
Mind you, I thought the original Zoolander was pretty funny. I had no reason to expect this one to be so much worse. But it is.
Finally, after almost an hour, I strode out of the theater, proud of myself for taking positive action and sparing myself further insult.
But could Zoolander 2 really be that bad? Sure, it looks bad. And sure, everyone says it’s bad. And yes, the commercials all make it seem bad. But is it really bad? I sent some of the regulars from this blog to check it out and get their opinions.
I can relate. I saw the original Zoolander in the theater when it first came out in 2001. I recall laughing here and there, but I also recall that the laughs became less and less as the film rolled on. It became less funny as it went on too, and more stupid. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that as the movie went on, I realized there was less to it than it seemed. It was just a generally stupid movie. I was feeling stupid for buying a ticket. I should have been warned by the presence of Will Ferrell, whose bad films and roles are slowly piling up higher than his good films and roles.
Let’s put Will Ferrell on the Mike Meyers scale.
But aside from all that, I sat through the original Zoolander and every other film I’ve paid to see. Unlike Leonard Maltin, I never left a movie before it was over. But In retrospect, there were some films I wish I did walk out on.
ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. This was Oliver Stone at his worst, and that’s saying a lot. The film was close to three hours long and several people left after about an hour and a half. Unless you’ve seen it, you don’t understand the pain we felt in the theater.
STARSHIP TROOPERS. That movie wanted you to root for the Nazis. A lot of people say how great the novel is, and it is- I read it. But none of the satire or real meaning made it to the screen. It was simply disgusting Nazis fighting disgusting bugs. I was rooting for the projector to break.
BATMAN AND ROBIN. Do I need to explain this? To borrow a phrase from MST3K: “Deep Hurting.”
Honorable mentions- I did not walk out but others did.
BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. This was a found footage movie before people knew what that was. I saw it in a theater that was half full when it began, nearly empty when it ended. I enjoyed it but there was a lot of loud and rude complaining from almost everyone else throughout.
THE SOUTH PARK MOVIE. A lot of people brought their kids. Big mistake. They left very quickly, but as soon as I realized it was a foul-mouthed musical, I settled in and enjoyed the ride.
BONUS! ROGER EBERT’S REVIEW OF NORTH (the movie, not Kanye’s kid)
I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.
Best review ever!