Zoolander No. 2

Music Composed By: Theodore Shapiro

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Fifteen years after the original film aired in 2001, Ben Stiller style= brings us Zoolander No 2 style=, a comedy that takes itself way to seriously.  Ben Stiller stars as Derek Zoolander style=, a former model who has lost everything and everyone he ever cared about.  Owen Wilson style= is Hansel McDonald an old friend of Zoolander's who finds himself reunited with his modeling buddy by Fashion Interpol Agent Valentina Valencia (Penelope Cruz style=).  It seems that someone is killing off the world's pop singers and posing them to mirror Zoolander's "Blue Steel" look.  Can they discover the identity of the killer in time?

                The score of Zoolander No. 2 was created by American composer Theodore Shapiro style=.  While earning a degree in music at Brown University style=, Shapiro wrote a musical about a cryogenically frozen style= head and played in a neo-disco style= band called God.  He received a Masters in Composition at Julliard style=.  Shortly after receiving his Masters, Shapiro went on to compose music for film and concert halls.  Some examples of his work include the scores of Girlfight style=, Heist style=, Old School, Marley & Me, The Devil Wears Prada and St. Vincent.  This is not Shapiro's first time working with director Ben Stiller as he has created the musical score for such Stiller films as Tropic Thunder, Dodgeball style= and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty style=.

                As with Tropic Thunder, Theodore Shapiro chose not to create a comedic score for Zoolander No. 2.  As Shapiro explains, "At its heart, Zoolander No 2 is an epic mystery.  The movie starts with the question, ‘Who is killing the world’s biggest pop stars?’ and continues on a dark journey into the depraved madness that lies at the heart of the fashion world. The director Ben Stiller and I knew that such an epic journey required a score to match.   I always favor a very serious approach to scoring comedies, and Ben, who is the film’s star as well as its director, shares that approach completely.  We really only talk about the music in terms of storytelling, never about jokes.  The film’s comedy always comes out in contrast to the seriousness of the music’s tone."

                Thus the music of Zoolander No. 2 is rather dramatic and action-packed featuring a large brass section, a choir and percussion.  As the story delves deeper into the mystery and our characters come closer to discovering the truth, the percussion increases, offering up some more drama.  Thus we have a score that doesn't match the comedic styling of the film.  I often find that this contrast helps to make those scenes funnier than when paired with lighthearted comedic music.  As a stand alone album, Zoolander No. 2 is action and intrigue at its best, allowing the listener to imagine in his or her own mind's eye what is taking place in the scene the score was created for.  Shapiro has done it again and Zoolander No. 2 is a soundtrack well worth the listen.


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