The sequel to 2001's "Zoolander" follows former top male model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), now a recluse since a catastrophe that took his wife's life and destroyed his Center for Kids Who Can't Read Good and Who Wanna Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too.
He's re-teamed with best friend/rival Hansel (Owen Wilson) and summoned to walk in a fashion show in Rome, where they end up embroiled in an investigation into an organization that's knocking off celebrities like Justin Bieber.
But apparently all of those different parts don't add up to a satisfying whole. At the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan finds the waiting game for a sequel to be one of diminishing returns.
"With its four credited writers, a plot that really doesn't exist and an on-again, off-again gestation period that lasted more than a decade, 'Zoolander 2' defines haphazard," Turan wrote. "You may smile at times, but not as often as you'd like."
Alonso Duralde at The Wrap writes off the effort as "a cavalcade of gags that fall flat and cameo appearances that are more impressive on a look-who-they-got scale than for inspiring any mirth," warning that "the fun disappears from this film around the same time Billy Zane does."
At Slate, David Ehrlich laments that a film that opens with the murder of Justin Bieber shouldn't be this bad. But ultimately, he argues, the fault lies in a lack of clear plotting.
"Much like its namesake, 'Zoolander 2' spends so much time looking in the mirror that it ultimately loses any sense of its surroundings," he writes. "Stiller's film quickly disintegrates into a desperate parade of one-note fashion gags, numbing set pieces, and random celebrity cameos."
The Boston Herald's James Verniere had this say: "I'm afraid I just didn't care." Ouch.
It's not all bad news, though. Rolling Stone's Peter Travers was apparently won over by the film's "loopy, lunatic charm," though he does caution that the "results are scattershot." As praise goes, that's pretty faint.