Zoolander 2

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Short takes

Not recommended under 14 (Violence; Sexual references and crude humour; Coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Zoolander 2
  • a review of Zoolander 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 February 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 14 Not recommended due to violence, sexual references and coarse language
Children aged 14and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Zoolander 2
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Sexual references, violence and coarse language
Length: 2 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This film is the sequel to the 2001 film Zoolander. It features Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), a quirky supermodel who became famous when he stopped a flying knife with his signature ‘look’. The film takes place 15 years later, when Derek’s life has taken a turn for the worse – the school he set up for ‘Kids who can’t read good’ ended up collapsing, killing his wife as well as injuring his old best friend Hansel (Owen Wilson). The two friends have not spoken in many years as a result of the incident.

When Derek gets frustrated with his son one day while they are cooking, the media photographs the event and Child Protective Services are called to remove the boy from Derek’s care. Feeling lost and directionless, Derek is approached by Billy Zane (playing himself) to attend an upcoming fashion show. The world’s most beautiful people are being systematically killed somehow, and the dead have had Derek’s old ‘blue steel’ look on their faces. Derek and his old friend Hansel are asked to infiltrate the new world of fashion in order to defeat a mastermind named Mugatu (Will Ferrell).


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

The world of fashion and celebrity; lies and deceit; friendship; good versus evil

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence within the film, including:

  • A man is stabbed in the cheek after someone throws a knife across the room. Someone else is stabbed in the thigh with the same knife. Blood is shown in both of these scenes – although they are somewhat graphic, they are presented in a humorous way.
  • A character is shot – blood is shown, and the character later dies from the wound. This is not presented graphically.
  • A man scales the side of an alley wall in order to knock a gunman off a motorcycle.
  • A character wishing to seek revenge on a large group of people plots to blow up an event.
  • A man is hit repeatedly in the face with various objects, such as bottles. There are no wounds shown, and this is played for comedic value.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Children in this age group would be scared by the violent scenes described above

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group would also be scared by the violent scenes described above

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be scared by the violent scenes described above

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Some younger children in this age group may also be scared by the violent scenes described above

Product placement

There is some product placement within the film, including:

  • References to Facebook, Instagram, etc.
  • Netflix
  • Samsung products
  • Uber

Sexual references

There are frequent sexual references and crude humour within the film, including:

  • Male and female genitalia are referred to as ‘hotdogs and buns’.
  • Men comment that one particular female character is ‘hot’, and they appear to be aroused.
  • There are multiple jokes made regarding breast size
  • Many references to group sex.
  • A man tells a child about a sexual experience he had with a woman

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity, including:

  • There are many women dressed in provocative clothing with legs and buttocks visible.
  • A man is seen to be touching a woman’s breast in one scene – this occurred at the woman’s request

Use of substances

Plenty of social drinking

Coarse language

There is some use of coarse language, including:

  • ‘fuck’; ‘shit’; ‘bitch’; ‘asshole’
  • religious exclamations such as ‘God help us’

In a nutshell

Zoolander 2 is a comedy about the importance of friendship. Although the relationship between Derek and Hansel is tumultuous at times, they are like brothers and can ultimately always rely on each other. The film shows that obstacles can be overcome when there is sufficient drive and determination, and also that people with decent intentions can make a positive difference in the world.

Zoolander 2 is rated M and is aimed at an adult audience. Because of violence, sexual references and crude humour, and coarse language this film is not recommended for viewers under 14.