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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!