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Since Zoolander was released, I think I can safely say that it's become
one of the most popular dumb comedies of the past ten years (a decade
that was all too saturated with dumb comedies). Maybe it's the
tongue-in-cheek attitude, or the clever writing, or the fact that it's
immensely quotable ("I'm pretty sure there's more to life than being
really, really, ridiculously good looking"). But whatever it is, it
makes for a terrifically fun movie.
Ben Stiller is Derek Zoolander, three-time male model of the year, whose brainpower never quite caught up to his really, really ridiculous good looks. After losing his title to up-and-coming model Hansel (he's so hot right now), played by a Zen-ed out Owen Wilson, and the death of three of his model friends in a tragic gasoline fight accident, he goes on a quest to find his purpose in life. Turns out, his purpose in life is as the face of Mugatu (Will Ferrel with the world's best hair)'s new Derelicte fashion campaign--or so he's led to believe.
The plot is not strong. The characters are not fleshed out. But Ben Stiller keeps Derek's stupidity hysterical instead of irritating, and the rest of the cast adds gimmick after gimmick to keep things running. (Come on, the coal mines of New Jersey? Tell me that's not funny.)
Derek Zoolander is stupid. So is his movie. But by no means, is Zoolander
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
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,
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.
I gave this movie a 9/10 for this reason, if you have seen the previews, you know what you are going to see. You are going to see a movie that is exactly the kind of humor that the preview TELLS and SHOWS you it contains. They don't expect Oscars, and arent even trying for them. This movie is not to be taken seriously, its for FUN, people. The movie's main characters did great jobs, and had good charisma between them, there were tons of other actors putting in small bits (some of which were amazingly funny, I laughed out loud in a few parts, and I almost never do that). There were some truly funny moments, moments I found much funnier than I thought the film would be. When I told friends and family I saw it they all said, `You did?' when I said I liked it they said with even more incredulity, `You did?!' because I don't like certain kinds of stupid humor. I liked the Three Amigos, but hated Austin Powers. Potty humor doesn't do it for me. But this movie was surprisingly witty and funny without thinking it had to be disgusting to be humorous. There were a few parts I could have lived without, gladly, but overall you get what you think you are going to get, and more!
When I first saw this I was expecting a total disaster of a movie.
Persuaded by my older brother, I rented it and watched with a skeptical
mind. I like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson OK, but the idea just seemed
so stupid and the fact it was based on some short on VH-1 making fun of
male models seemed like it wasn't thought out too well.
What I ended up doing was laughing so much I nearly died. This movie's story is definitely pretty ridiculous and not completely thought out, but the list of characters and cameos alone make this worth a treat. This is probably the funniest I've seen Will Ferrel, and Jerry Stiller plays his usual old crotchedy man with flying colors. Almost every scene with them makes you laugh out loud. It seems pretty obvious that even though it was a feature film, Ben Stiller seemed to have a lot of control over this. Definitely isn't made to please the masses, but those who can appreciate ridiculous, campy humor and are fans of these actors will find themselves wanting to show this movie to anyone who hasn't seen it. I won;t ruin any of it, except to say the funniest line in the movie is "Merman! MERMAN!!!" And expect many great cameos, especially Billy Zane. You'll understand once you see it.
Released a few short weeks after Sept. 11, Zoolander became the target of "this is why they hate us" diatribes. I didn't see it until months later and immediately recognized what I can only hope I would have seen if I had watched it earlier--that this is a superb satire/farce. There aren't many movies that manage to be both silly and smart at the same time, and this is one. It is not only a send-up of the modeling and fashion industries, admittedly easy targets, but of our whole image-obsessed culture which commodifies love, spirituality, patriotism, heroism just as easily and unthinkingly as it does kitchen appliances. This is not a "stupid" movie, even though it is about stupid people and stupid situations. It keeps the targets of its satire within its sights at every moment, never letting that focus flag to pursue maudlin subplots, but at the same time, it is unfailingly hilarious, with marvelous comic acting, sight-gags, sets, and costumes. The screen is just packed with visual jokes at almost every moment. This is not a movie that anyone needs to be embarrassed to watch or enjoy. But it is also just plain damned fun!
A really great take on the modelling world. Each Time I watch it I see
something else that makes me howl with laughter. Out of all the
Stiller/Wilson collaborations this is definitely the funniest. There is
so much going on in the film and I love the way all the celebs join in
on the joke. Zoolander has a great soundtrack a very humorous plot and
is light enough to enjoy whatever the mood.
I would definitely recommend a few viewings before you make judgement. Will Ferrell is manic as Mugato and Wilsons Hansel is as laid back as all his all his characters. The scene in the coal mine is the best. Enjoy whilst partaking of an Orange Mocha Frappucino. More from the duo please or a Zoolander II
When Zoolander came out, I remember big deal plugs that were made for this
film by the media. The movie, after all, is poking fun at entertainment, in
particular, the fashion and model industry.
This was a hilarious take on it, and Zoolander, our main character, is
stupidly lovable. Ben Stiller proves once again his flexibility with his
comedic acting. Just watch 'Meet the Parents'and this, you'll think it's 2
different actors. Showing you how much work Ben can do, he also helped write
and produce the movie. Owen Wilson usually ends up in a movie with Ben, and
he's hilarious too. And of course Will Ferrell is always a
Read the Plot Outline in the details, there's not much to it. But you don't
watch movies like this for incredible story lines, do you?
No, it's not an oscar winning comedy, most aren't. It's not an intelligent look at real-life, it's not the greatest storyline driven kind of movie, and it doesn't have top notch acting. But it's incredibly funny, especially the DVD. The DVD is filled with so many extra goodies, it's worth getting. The movie is filled with cameos like David Bowie, Paris Hilton, Billy Zane, AH! There are so many, you just have to see the list yourself.
Rent or buy it, and leave your brain on the table next to the popcorn. Because there's more to life then being really, really, ridiculously smart.
This has to be a movie that people would either laugh their butt off
watching, or turn it off and never finishing it because it was so
stupid. Fortunately, as someone who loves absurd humor, I was
entertained by it. Yes, it's one of the dumbest films you'll ever see,
but it's supposed to be stupid, a satire on the shallow people and
world of male fashion models.
Ben Stiller is outstanding as "Derek Zoolander," the brainless model who's number one male model status is upended by newcomer "Hansel," played by Owen Wilson. In light of Wilson's recent real-life drug problems, I couldn't help but think "how can these actors play absurd roles like this and be normal?" It's almost understandable by so many in the film business are whacked! You have to hand it to them, though: Stiller, Wilson, Millo Jovovich and Will Ferrell are good at playing weird people, as they do here. But it's all in fun - plus a serious comment about child labor - and the movie is simply to be enjoyed for what it is. Of course, it's stupid overall, but it's a spoof, like the Austin Powers films.
Film fans and celebrity geeks will enjoy all the cameos in here, along with the wild outfits - male and female - and all the goofy looks on the faces, mainly Stiller's poses. In between all the dumbness is some smart satire on several topics dealing with the fashion business. Just know what you are getting into here, and you should get enough laughs to make it an entertaining hour-and-a-half.
In Entertainment Weekly, Ben Stiller described this feature-length
of the moronic male model he created for the VH1 Fashion Awards as
"MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE meets EYES OF LAURA MARS." Me, I can sum it up in
words: "AUSTIN Posers." No, better yet, I'll boil it down to one word:
"endearing." That's right, endearing! As lighthearted as it is
lightheaded, this daffy spoof of conspiracy thrillers and the mad, mod
of male models and other hipsters has a surprising undercurrent of
to it. Star/director/co-writer/co-producer Stiller plays dopey Derek
Zoolander as a gentle, essentially kind-hearted naif under his hip veneer.
The same is true of Owen Wilson, putting his twang and quirky humor to
use as Derek's rustic yet hippy-dippy rival-turned-ally Hansel. I suspect
folks will like ZOOLANDER even better on DVD, since there are tons of
hilarious extended scenes and deleted scenes as well as the original
Zoolander TV sketches that Stiller & Co. did for VH1. As Derek says in the
voiceover intros on the DVD menu, the ZOOLANDER disc is a wonderful
introduction to "the world of DiviDuh"! :-)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is yet another film which is what it is about.
It is about fatuous celebrities, under the control of corporate machines, acting ridiculous for our pleasure and thinking that what they are doing is cool because they understand the irony. Ho Hum. If Stiller and Wilson actually worked with the dimensions of this and gave us something new, it would be a worthy enterprise. But though `Tenenbaum's' and this project both approach the irony, they both are prisoners of it.
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