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Zoolander 2 savaged by critics as 'flailing follow up' to Ben Stiller's cult film

There's no easy way to say this: Zoolander 2 should probably never have been made.

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Zoolander - a man for our times

At the New York Premiere of 'Zoolander 2,' director and star Ben Stiller explains why now is the time to bring Derek Zoolander back.

That's essentially the verdict from film critics around the world, who have savaged the sequel to Ben Stiller's cult hit as "really, really ridiculously bad".

The long-awaited sequel comes 15 years after the original, but it seems the world has moved on from Derek Zoolander, Hansel, and orange mocha frappuchinos.

Variety called it "a cheap designer knockoff" of the original. Critic Justin Chang accused Stiller of lacking vision or inspiration for the new film, calling it "toothless and scattershot".

"The results may delight those who believe recycled gags and endless cameos to be the very essence of great screen comedy, but everyone else will likely recognise Stiller's wannabe Magnum opus as a disappointment-slash-misfire, the orange mocha crappuccino of movie sequels," Chang wrote.


It appears the conga line of A-list celebrity cameos including Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Penelope Cruz, Susan Sarandon, Billy Zane and Ariana Grande could do little to save Zoolander 2.

Empire gave it three out of five stars, calling it "a loveable mess", but also took issue with the amount of cameos, accusing them of being a distraction from a lack of plot.

"There are so many guest appearances, possibly over a hundred," wrote reviewer Olly Richards. "Some are well used (Susan Boyle is hilarious), but a lot of them work on the basis that recognising a famous person constitutes a joke in itself."

"Katy Perry singing on a roof is not a punchline – it's just Katy Perry singing on a roof."

The Daily Beast trashed the film for its portrayal of transgender model, All, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

"In Zoolander 2, taste goes out the window. In addition to being largely unfunny and uninspired ... the film is also horribly offensive," critic Kevin Fallon wrote.

The film was dubbed "hateful" and "transphobic" for Cumberbatch's character and a petition calling for a public boycott garnered more than 20,000 signatures.

"No malice is expressed toward All, but All's existence is the butt of jokes. Lazy jokes. Dated jokes. Really, frigging stupid jokes," Fallon continued.

Some reviews however, took Zoolander 2 at face value. Fairfax critic Jake Wilson said there were "enough off-beat jokes and gifted performers to ensure a good time", while the UK's Telegraph called it "pleasingly ridiculous".

With the fim hitting Australian cinemas on Thursday, it remains to be seen whether the general public will flock towards the maligned sequel.