Zoolander (2001) Poster

(2001)

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An absurd but smart send-up of our image-obsessed culture
Ken Gewertz24 June 2002
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!
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A Classic of the Idiot Genre
Claire (erialc0)18 December 2004
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.)
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8/10
Zoolander is stupid funny!
gregherk21 October 2001
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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8/10
Funny For Those Who Like Absurd Humor
ccthemovieman-119 July 2007
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.
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10/10
Gets better each time I watch it
dangermouselor25 August 2005
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
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9/10
The previews didn't lie, you get what you see.
synefra9 October 2001
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!
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9/10
A hilarious 'poke' at the fashion industry
silentcheesedude27 June 2004
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 riot. 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.
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8/10
AUSTIN Posers--Hip, Daffy, Yet Kinda Sweet
In Entertainment Weekly, Ben Stiller described this feature-length adventure 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 two 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 world of male models and other hipsters has a surprising undercurrent of sweetness 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 good 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"! :-)
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10/10
Very intelligent movie about stupidity
CinefanR31 January 2012
Not a favorite on the first viewing, when it premiered, this movie is - I have to admit it now - hysterical. Don't forget that it's a parody, it's quirky, completely ridiculous, insane & over the top and yes, people in it act stupidly. I'm not a fan of Ben Stiller, I haven't enjoyed any other movies of his, but this is spot on. I say justice has been done: it's been finally revealed that stupidity knows no gender when it comes to the fashion world, and it comes in epic proportions.

By the way, the fashion world redeemed itself by participating in this movie. Watch for the countless cameos from famous people in the industry. The fact that they accepted to make a little fun of themselves shows that they do have a sense of humor, and that's quite refreshing.

Oh, and Jon Voight deserves an Oscar for his deadpan performance as Derek's estranged father. He made me break down and cry tears of laughter over the terrible drama of the Zoolander family. Words are useless here, just watch the movie!
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7/10
Man It's Exhausting
daveisit22 April 2005
Derek (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson) are the worlds greatest two models. And nobody in the world could play them quite like Stiller and Wilson. Stiller was also a writer and the director of Zoolander and knows how to put together a movie.

While the movie often focuses on Derek and Hansel out modelling each other, I believe the real contest was off screen being played out on screen between the two. This being who could play the more sarcastic and larger than life model. Stiller may win this, but the sheer arrogance of Wilson's on screen demeanor tips the scale in his favour for me. When the two work together they are up there with the great duo's of comedy.

This is far from Stiller's best work however, moving along a little too slowly at times. Having said this it is still well worth a look and should give you plenty of laughs providing you appreciate the Stiller Wilson combo.
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8/10
A great film that delivers lots of laughs
Zoolander is definitely one of my favorite comedies. It is a feel-good, cleverly-written film that will leave a majority of viewers satisfied. The acting is great, and the story flows well--overall a very solid comedy.

Ben Stiller plays Derek Zoolander, a male model who is far from the sharpest tool in the shed, which is showcased in the most hilarious of ways. Suddenly, Derek's world as THE top model is disrupted when Hansel, brilliantly played by Owen Wilson, arrives on the scene and disrupts Zoolander's throne with Hansel's seemingly effortless, avant garde approach to male modeling.

This is my very first review, so I apologize for the lack of well-articulated perspective. What I can tell you is that this movie is hilarious and absolutely worth a viewing.

This really should be in the 7 - 8 range on IMDb.

This film is definitely worth a watch.

Enjoy!
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Behind Bars
tedg27 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

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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7/10
"Zoolander" is stupid in every way
napierslogs20 July 2010
"Zoolander" is stupid, but it's stupid in every way: its characters, its plot, and its jokes, but that starts adding up to fun. I will admit that I laugh most times I watch it, sometimes I groan because of the stupidity, but I usually have a smile on my face.

The plot? Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) is a washed-up model who has been brainwashed to kill a foreign Prime Minister. Sound stupid? That's because it's supposed to be. We have a handful of male models, all of them with IQs lower than their body fat percentage, and all of them getting into situations that they are not mentally equipped for.

You can't watch "Zoolander" for its story or its characters, you can only watch it for its inane humour. And the fact that these are men being shown off as models and not women.
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10/10
Zoolander - Colorful, Creative, Original and Thoughtful.
Leslie King8 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
By the exaggerated tagline, "3% body fat, and 1% brain activity," I just knew that Zoolander was going to be smart and funny. And, it was. If you can rise above the literal visual interpretation to the gasoline pump fight, you'll find it too, has an underlying educational, or at least, helpful message. The characterizations of good guy versus bad guy are whimsical, creative, colorful, and funny. Derek Zoolander, (Ben Stiller) is Ben's wonderfully exaggerated version of the male model, one who is offering his best attempt to be "Balls Models" 4th year in a row, model of the year. Sadly, he loses to Hansel, (Owen Wilson) a sweet blue, green, star eyed, soft lined, model. At the loss, quirky, carefree and complex, Derek questions his reflection in a puddle of water, "Who Am I?" In search of an answer to his question, he returns home to the coal mines of New Jersey, where his generally reluctant father, Larry Zoolander ( John Voight) and what looks to be his two evidently, (one Judah Friedlander) inarticulate brothers, reside. But, it is Derek's agent, Maury Ballstein (Jerry Stiller) who encourages him to return to New York, so that Derek can take on the assignment, as model for Mugato's (Will Ferrell) "Derelicte," campaign. Maury is passionate and sincerely wants for his models to succeed, at making a living, in modeling. Mugato is obsessed with having Derek assassinate Malaysia's prime minister, Hassan (Woodrow W. Asai), one with a fondness for fashion and vogue, and a desire to increase pay standards, in the production industry. Derek takes the job, but little does he know that Mugato's black leathered assistant, Katinka, (Milla Jovovich) will be leading him into a day spa, that is more like a torture chamber, one designed to brainwash him into assassinating Malaysia's leader. Matilada Jeffries, (Christine Taylor) a reporter for Time, assigned to reporting on fashion events, will soon find herself in the midst of discovering a personal life, originating from her professional one. And fortunately, Hansel, is more than a competitor to Derek, but a friend, who saves both Derek and the leader of Malaysia, from an untimely death.

The entire script is so creatively and colorfully articulated and presented, that one cannot help but have just so much fun, or alternatively be filled with suspense, as to whether or not Mugato will have his way with Derek. David Duchovny's scene, (mystery man on the cell phone), as scruffy bearded, eye glassed, and glass encased hand, J.P. Prewitt, at the cemetery, is really well done. In an interestingly woven monologue, he begins by explaining buried models' pre-mature deaths, scenes that include butt cheeks and abs sculpted on gravestones. It's very Tim "Robbinseque" in mood and tone and very well performed.

Zoolander was much more rich in plot, characterization, and development than I had expected, after hearing, that "it didn't get great reviews." And the story still results in a very happy ending. Good wins over evil, and good guy hero gets girl. So who is Derek Zoolander? Answer: A really sweet guy, who is cute, funny, sensitive, articulate (although can't say eulogy, and instead says ulogee, but just adds more to his cute and funny attributes), and one who, we gather, has a terrific girlfriend, and cool best friend, with whom he pursues one of his true life long passions, to open up a school for kids, "to read really good." Zoolander is absolutely a "hip"comedy for every audience member.
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Stiller and Wilson are great together
sittler28 September 2002
A hilarious, ridiculous comedy that does a great job of poking fun at celebrity. Ben Stiller seems to think that fame is rather silly and he shows his contempt for it in the form of male super-model Derek Zoolander. The intellect-challenged, self-absorbed Zoolander pouts, struts and mispronounces wonderfully throughout this comedy that's aimed at being stupid.

The "plot-line" begins when Derek is targeted by a clandestine fashion alliance in need of a dim-witted, male super-model. Fitting the bill to a tee, Derek is brainwashed via a Clockwork-Orange-esque treatment that orders him to kill the visiting Prime Minister of Malaysia, whose progressive take on child-labour laws and sweatshops has become a serious thorn in the side of the fashion cartel. Whenever Derek hears "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, that's his trigger to kill the Prime Minister.

Some movies try so hard at being ridiculous that it actually kills its comedic value (see "Scary Movie" and "Scary Movie 2"). It's quite a feat to maintain a balance, which Zoolander accomplishes.

You'll either love or hate this movie. If you like silly, you'll like Zoolander. Also, I found that this movie gets better with age, so don't be so quick to cast it aside.
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10/10
One of the funniest movies I have ever seen!
Paulie5997 October 2001
Zoolander was honestly one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I cannot account for the fact that the guy who wrote the summary didn't laugh!! That was hilarious, sure the movie did not expose the world of male modeling or anything but it didn't set out to do that. So it shouldn't be judged for things it did not set out to accomplish. It should be admired for what it was able to do, make everyone laugh and tell a good and entertaining story. Good stories were very hard to come by this season, can we say Planet of the Apes and The Mummy Returns?.
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10/10
Ben Stiller Delivers A Classic Comedy
jhclues6 October 2001
The complex world of the male modeling profession, including the inherent rivalries and the significant impact the industry has had on history is explored and revealed in `Zoolander,' a brilliant comedy directed by and starring the versatile Ben Stiller. With chiseled features that bespeak the best of Michelangelo, as well as an arsenal of three `looks,' preeminent of which is the riveting `Blue Steel,' Derek Zoolander (Stiller) is poised to win the coveted VH-1 Male Model of the Year Award for an unprecedented fourth year in a row. But this year-- for the first time-- he has a rival, a newcomer, who just may be able to usurp his title: the charismatic and popular Hansel (Owen Wilson), who-- with chiseled features of his own-- has burst upon the scene only this year and threatens to steal Zoolander's thunder in one fell swoop. And as if this wasn't enough for the seemingly (until now) invulnerable Zoolander to have on his vapid mind, a reporter for Time Magazine, Matilda Jeffries (Christine Taylor-- Stiller's real-life wife), has written an in-depth article about him in which the true nature of the man behind the Adonis is objectively and succinctly revealed, and it's scheduled to hit the streets the week of the Awards. Suffice to say it's a full plate for Derek Zoolander, male model, who-- unbeknownst to him-- has yet an even greater personal vexation awaiting, which involves a sinister plot and the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The Prime Minister of Malaysia? And what-- you may ask-- does that have to do with the male modeling profession? Well, it's just that kind of movie...

Like a toothless attack dog that suddenly lunges at you and chomps down on your elbow, `Zoolander' has a harmless bite that will grab your attention immediately and refuse to let you go. And like that dog it will continue to gum your elbow until it tickles your funny-bone and you become helpless to do anything other than pet it on the head and want to take it home with you. That's the effect of Stiller's film. It's an hilarious excursion through a world in which glitz, glamor and good-looks are the commandments by which to live, and one-on-one `walk-offs' and break dance fighting are the realities which mask a degree of shallowness that is nearly unfathomable. All of which Stiller delivers in his own inimitable style, with subtle nuance and an instinctive sense of comedy that really makes this satire work. No one-- with the possible exception of Albert Brooks-- can set up a comedy and put it across as effectively as Stiller, who always plays it straight and never fishes for `cheap' laughs. What he gives you is the real deal, and it's classic.

In Derek Zoolander, Stiller has created a character who manifests the myriad facets, ironies and idiosyncrasies of pop culture, offering a perspective that allows us to laugh, not only at Zoolander, but at ourselves, as well. And such a perspective is a rare and welcomed gift; for too often matters of insignificance are taken too seriously by too many, and it is at such times that we need a Zoolander among us to dispel the complexities we foist upon ourselves and to negate the self-imposed burdens that keep us in thrall to the most trivial things in life. Zoolander holds up a mirror and points out the furrow in your brow that simply doesn't have to be there. Stiller is a truly gifted artist who can make you laugh, think and feel good about yourself all at the same time. But like Chaplin and Fields before him, it will undoubtedly-- and unfortunately-- be some time before his true genius is widely and sufficiently recognized.

Owen Wilson, as well, is a talented actor/writer/performer who has demonstrated his own unique style in such films as `Bottle Rocket,' `Shanghai Noon' and `Meet the Parents,' and here makes Hansel the perfect counterpart of Derek Zoolander. Hansel is the flip side of the same coin that carries the likeness of Zoolander; so different, yet cut from the same cloth. And, like Stiller, Wilson plays it straight, with a subtle delivery that is entirely effective. He and Stiller, in fact, are possibly the greatest comed-team-who-aren't-a-team in the history of the movies. Wilson has the driest delivery this side of Gene Wilder, his timing is perfect and his quirky looks and the timbre of his voice give him a veritably captivating screen presence. He brings Hansel to life with facility, and makes him a memorable character.

The supporting cast includes Will Ferrell (Mugatu), Jerry Stiller (Ballstein), Milla Jovovich (Katinka), Matt Levin (Archie) and features cameos by David Duchovny, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Vince Vaughn, Jon Voight, Billy Zane, Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder, David Bowie, Andy Dick and Fabio. Already the second-greatest cult film of all time (behind Stiller's `Mystery Men'), `Zoolander,' like Stiller himself, is destined to be initially under appreciated, but in time will be recognized as the comedic masterpiece that it is. It's entertaining and funny, at times dark, but never offensive; and it's the kind of film that gets even better with repeated viewings. A true classic that will endure the test of time, this film is what the magic of the movies is all about, and one you do not want to miss. I rate this one 10/10.
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10/10
Brilliant comedy!
SmackD17R5 October 2001
Very imaginative and silly comedy starring Ben Stiller. Stiller plays a world-renowned male fashion model who is brainwashed to kill the new Malaysian Prime Minister. The short description of the plot may make the movie sound stupid, but it is a goofy and light-hearted comedy that is worth watching. You will either love it or hate it. Exceptional performances by Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Jerry Stiller.

9 stars out of 10.
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10/10
A wonderful way to forget about your problems for a couple hours.
samdereign4 October 2001
This movie may have had somewhat of a weak plot (which is part of the humor in itself) but the actions of all the characters in the movie are hilarious. Ben Stiller plays a somewhat 'dumb' (putting it lightly) male model. He's been hypnotized to kill the prime minister of Malaysia. All the characters are great and the humor is non-stop. I laughed in the car on the way home. So go see it "You freakin' idiot!"
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10/10
Really, Really, Ridiculously Good! (Blue Steel)
tightywhities62920 June 2006
This movie is amazing. I have fun every time I watch this movie. Everything about it is funny. It's almost indescribable how ridiculous (ridiculous as in really really goofy/silly) Zoolander is. I'm not big on Ben Stiller's work. I disliked both "Meet the" films, and I didn't like "Dodgeball". But he was...amazing in this movie.

This is what comedy should be all about. It's surely a movie that you could quote on forever. And what really makes it unique is that if you enjoy the jokes, and get a feel for the goofy atmosphere, you really don't care about the story. In fact, you SHOULDN'T care. Ben Stiller shows that through his eyes as a director.

It's very hard to find a decent/creative comedy these days. This film is certainly underrated. I recommend this to anyone who wants a good laugh!
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1/10
Quite simply, one of the crappiest movies ever made.
lordburn59114 May 2003
After spending today reviewing all of my favorite movies, I had to pump out a review for the heinously bad Ben Stiller vehicle, Zoolander. Previously liking the principal cast of this film, (including Owen Wilson and Will Ferrel), I was more than a little dissapointed after seeing what a clumsy mess Zoolander turned into. The concept wasn't great to begin with, but such terrible execution on the tried and true Dumb and Dumber formula turned this film into an example of what not to do in a comedy. There are a few moments that may cause tiny giggles, but these moments are also mind numbingly dumb. Proceed with caution... this movie sucks.
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It has its moments
motor8928 May 2003
Zoolander isn't really a film it is a bunch of sketches stitched together, and it shows in both the short running time and extreme stretching of some jokes. There is a moment in the film when you think that it's going to hit its target hard -- child labour and how the fashion industry exploits it to manufacture incredibly cheap clothing and then sell at obscene prices -- but then it backs off and goes for the cheap gags instead. Models are stupid, pampered and vain... yeah, tell us something we don't know. That's not to say there aren't lots of funny moments in it (Derek and Hansel faced with getting info out of a computer is brilliant), but when you add it all up you are left with... not much.

Maybe it is because the world of fashion and modelling is a ripe target for spoofing? It's just too damned easy to rip on the vacuous and shallow -- and what's worse, the fashion industry is, by its nature, an attention whore. It wants you to watch for whatever reason. So any barbs sent their way are just laughed off and turned into more publicity for them, and the whole thing just seems to celebrate instead of excoriate. Or maybe that's what Stiller wanted all along.
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Worth seeing.
jakeblackshear18 March 2004
Ever wondered what it was like to be a male model? Well, watching Zoolander probably isn't going to give you any accurate representation of what being a male model is really like but it's definitely a hilarious spoof on modeling and fashion industry. Zoolander relies heavily on the stereotypes of self-absorbed male models depicting them as airheads with their senses often limited to strictly fashion. I recommend you completely disregard Stiller's previous comedies Something About Mary, Meet the Parents, and Along Came Polly when approaching this film as it strays from his usual `boyfriend with bad luck who gets into hilariously embarrassing situations' style comedy. His role this film shows character diversity in Stiller not seen in his past films and it works.

The sheer stupidity of the main characters Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and rival male model Hansel (Owen Wilson) are the primary sources of the genuine laughs found in Zoolander. Set in modern day New York City, the plot revolves around a sinister fashion designer named Mugatu (Will Ferrell) and his plot to brainwash male model Derek Zoolander to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The Prime Minister harms Mugatu's clothing factories (run by children) by imposing child labor laws, angering Mugatu and other fashion designers. Although the plot is far-fetched it never tries to be taken any more seriously than a comic book. Once you see the remarks and reactions of the two main characters it's impossible to take seriously and often funny. One example of the hilarious stupidity in this movie: Early on in the movie there is a `Male Model of the Year' awards ceremony Zoolander, being accustomed to winning the award several years in a row runs to the stage despite the fact Hansel's name had been announced to accept the award. Zoolander proceeds to give his cocky award speech when he the host taps his shoulder and points to Hansel standing behind him. Zoolander is struck with disbelief and it makes for a truly funny scene. There isn't much romance in this film but there is a little between a reporter named Matilda (Christina Applegate) and Zoolander but it's never really explored in the film and most of its referred to with humor. Picture Zoolander as a feature-length Saturday Night Live skit and you should know what kind of humor to expect.

As I said before to enjoy this movie you can't take it seriously because you will take it as it was not intended. This was a movie that caught me by surprise, I didn't think I'd like it and thought of myself as being `dragged' to see it but was very happy with after watching. I never thought I'd be interested in seeing something about a male model (because I have no interest on the subject) but modeling is just what it makes fun of. Zoolander definitely achieves what it sets out to do and doesn't try to take itself seriously at all. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are compliment each others roles very well and are extremely funny together.

Bottom Line- 7.5 out of 10: Better than `fair' but not great, lots of laughs to be had but it relies on the same `stupid' humor the entire movie. Even though the humor can be repetitive at times, it still managed to be funny for the most part throughout the movie. I consider it a solid comedy worth renting for those seeking laughter.
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10/10
Hilarious! My favorite movie!
gahrjack17 May 2014
Zoolander makes no sense whatsoever. But the jokes are hilarious, and you will never forget this movie. Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), an immensely famous yet immensely dumb male model at the end of his career, is brainwashed to kill the prime minister of Malaysia, by one of the only people who never hired him, Mugatu (Will Ferrell). So he needs the help of TIME reporter Matilda Jeffries (Christine Taylor), and rival model Hansel (Owen Wilson) to help keep him from destroying the prime minister. With great performances from all the actors, including Jerry Stiller as Maury Ballstein, Derek's mentor, this will be remembered as a classic (at least by me)!
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