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Zoolander (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  28 September 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 180,482 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 516 user | 123 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

At the end of his career, a clueless fashion model is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia.



(character Derek Zoolander), (character Derek Zoolander), 5 more credits »
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1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Scrappy Zoolander
Alexandre Manning ...
Brint (as Alexander Manning)


Derek Zoolander is VH1's three time male model of the year, but when Hansel wins the award instead, Zoolander's world becomes upside down. His friends disappear, his father is disappointed in him, and he feels that he's not good as a model anymore. But when evil fashion guru Mugatu hires Zoolander, he thinks his life has turned back round again, that is until he finds out that Mugatu has actually brainwashed him to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Can Zoolander and his new friends find out how to prevent the incident before it's too late? Written by FilmFanUK

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


3% Body Fat. 1% Brain Activity.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content and drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

28 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Derek Zoolander  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,525,043 (USA) (28 September 2001)


$381,063 (Spain) (4 January 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Derek first gets to Hansel's pad and Hansel asks Ennui to get him some of the special tea, there is a picture in the background of Hansel holding two tires - this is a copy of a famous Herb Ritts photo from 1984, "Fred with tyres". See more »


The number of buttons on Derek's PJs that are not buttoned. See more »


[first lines]
(Announcer): And here in Malaysia, there is an almost overwhelming sense of euphoria as the newly-elected prime minister has given this nation a gift of hope promising to raise the substandard minimum wage and end child labor once and for all. Already considered a living saint he has become this small country's greatest hope for a thriving future in the new millennium.
See more »


Features Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (2000) See more »


Written & Performed by Walter Murphy
Courtesy of Valentino
In association with LicenseMusic.com
See more »

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User Reviews

Zoolander is stupid funny!
21 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

Derek Zoolander is stupid. So is his movie. But by no means, is Zoolander humorless. Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, Zoolander is a very funny movie, if you know what to expect. Based on a character that Stiller created for the 1996 VH1 Fashion Awards, Derek Zoolander was originally intended to satirize the fashion industry. The movie does no less and as a result, has received some very negative patron reviews. Audiences went into Zoolander expecting another Ben Stiller, Meet the Parents-type comedy, and when they got an offbeat movie about the fashion industry's plot to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia, they didn't know how to react. To enjoy Zoolander, one has to forget all expectations and see the movie for what it is supposed to be: ridiculous.

Derek Zoolander (Stiller) is the fashion industry's number one male model, but his career is slouching and boy beauty Hansel (Owen Wilson) provides tough competition. Fashion designer Mugatu (Will Ferrell) takes advantage of this and Zoolander's stupidity, and brainwashes him to kill the Malaysian prime minister, after he put an end to vital fashion industry sweatshops. The talented cast and an excellent soundtrack add absurdity to the already farcical plot. Zoolander gives both Ferrell and Wilson the opportunity to do what they do best. For Saturday Night Live's Ferrell that is embracing and developing the demented, while for Meet the Parents' Wilson, it is the chance to play a comedic, confident, character role. Stiller's father and wife also appear in supporting roles, with Jerry Stiller as Maury Ballstein, Derek's agent, and Christine Taylor as Matilda Jeffries, a TIME magazine reporter. Jerry Stiller, like Wilson, always manages to find humor in every role he plays, and in Zoolander this remains especially true. Taylor, being a veteran of the Brady Bunch movies, is not stranger to satire either. Well-chosen and placed music adds laughs and heightens the tone and feel of the movie. With songs ranging from Wham!'s `Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' playing as cruising music for Derek and his male model friends, and Michael Jackson's `Beat It' as the background music for a face-off between Derek and Hansel, any remaining seriousness is diminished. And yet even more surprise and absurdity is added by the many unexpected cast members and cameo appearances. Others appearing in Zoolander include David Duchovny, Jon Voight, Vince Vaughn, Andy Dick, David Bowie, Cuba Gooding Jr., Winona Ryder, and even Ralph Lauren's own male model, Tyson Beckford. I can understand people disliking this movie; it is temperamental. This is the kind of movie that varies depending on the audience and a person's expectation. Generally though, if you keep an open mind and realize that it is not meant to be serious in any way, your view of the movie shouldn't go anywhere but up. Zoolander is absurd, ridiculous, and overall, an incredibly stupid movie. I suggest you see it.

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