The original Zoolander became a cult comedy classic after its release in 2001.

Fifteen years on, washed up male model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) makes his comeback in the much hyped Zoolander 2.

However, early reviews aren't looking "so hot right now" for the sequel.

It has a dismal 30 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes ahead of its New Zealand release today, compared to the first film which earned a warm 64 per cent from critics and an 80 per cent audience score.


"Zoolander No. 2 is embarrassing, lazy, and aggressively unfunny." Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly wrote. "The only good news is that at the pace the franchise is moving, we won't get Zoolander 3 until 2030."

TheWrap's Alonso Duralde said the film was "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".

"Existing less as a feature film and more as an excuse for endless celebrity cameos, Zoolander, 2 is a lazy and often painfully unfunny sequel," wrote Scott Mendelson for Forbes.

Emma Simmonds of The List wrote: "The lack of an interesting new angle and the far-from-razor-sharp script means Stiller's dimwit routine feels stretched this time round and even his usually reliable rapport with Wilson seems deflated."

Kristen Wiig portrays Alexanya Atoz in a scene from, Zoolander 2. Photo / AP
Kristen Wiig portrays Alexanya Atoz in a scene from, Zoolander 2. Photo / AP

However, it wasn't all bad for Zoolander 2. Some critics found humour in the film's ridiculousness.

Mara Renstein of US Weekly wrote that "Ben Stiller's follow-up to his 2001 mini-classic is ridiculously funny. Stupid and unnecessary ... but funny."

"As funny, silly and lovingly teasing as anyone could have hoped." Kate Lloyd wrote for the UK's Time Out.

And the New York Daily News' Gersh Kuntzman simply wrote: "Did you like Zoolander? Good, then you'll like Zoolander 2."

Zoolander 2 is in cinemas now.