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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 (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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
9 stars out of 10.
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!
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.
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.