Is there more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking? For Derek Zoolander there isn’t, but for those of us who appreciate good cinema, there totally is. Zoolander 2 hits theaters this weekend, and Ben Stiller's long-awaited male model comedy sequel hasn’t exactly received glowing reviews from those who have seen it. One such reviewer is legendary film critic Leonard Maltin, who deemed the film completely unworthy of his time – about halfway through watching it.
Indiewire has just released an article written by Maltin explaining why he felt compelled to walk out of his Zoolander 2 screening after merely an hour in the theater. He explains:
The film was stupid right from the start. I told myself that I was wasting my time for no good reason. Still, I stayed. … 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.
It doesn’t get much harsher than that. Bare in mind this isn’t some low-level blogger or a local news affiliate; this is Leonard "Don’t Fuck With My Movies" Maltin. Okay, that might not be his actual nickname but you get the idea. He’s a legend in the world of film criticism and prides himself on his ability to sit through the crappiest of the crap. For him to stand up and walk out of something unworthy of his time is a huge deal, and not a great sign for Zoolander 2. His reasons vary, from jokes that simply don’t land, to an excessive number of celebrity cameos that ultimately bog the film down; all of this is made worse by the fact that he actually likes the original.
We can’t exactly say that any of this surprises us. The film has been marred by controversy ever since the first trailer came out showcasing Benedict Cumberbatch portraying a caricature of a transgender model. Between calls for boycotts, and general criticism of the film’s lack of substance, Zoolander 2 never really seemed to have a fighting chance. However, whether or not this poor critical reception translates to poor box office performance still remains to be seen.
Maltin’s review actually shines some light on something that could serve all of us as self-respecting moviegoers: if something sucks, walk out. We cannot sit trapped in a theater hoping we will eventually get our money’s worth. Gestures such as this serve as an indicator to members of the Hollywood creative scene that we as consumers will not tolerate crap like this. The word of a film critic often does nothing to change the way studios produce movies, but if the money stops rolling in then they will be forced to make a change.
So from the sound of things, Zoolander 2 might not exactly be worth your time. Although Leonard Maltin may have walked out, our very own Dirk Libbey did not, so be sure to check out his review of Zoolander 2 as well. The film opens in theaters today.