Zoolander

"Good"

Zoolander Review


"The fashion industry has been behind every major assassination in the last 200 years," says a bearded and scruffy, conspiracy-mad David Duchovny in Ben Stiller's ludicrously amusing "Zoolander" -- and only the world's most vapid male model can break his brainwashing and to put a stop to it all.

No, not Fabio. "Too smart," says the Karl Lagerfeld-like leader of a shadowy international syndicate of couture designers, while picking "a beautiful self-absorbed simpleton who can be molded like Jell-O" to kill the prime minister of Malaysia. I mean, the man plans to end slave wages for sweatshop garment workers in his country. He simply must be stopped!

Enter pouty, super-superficial mannequin man Derek Zoolander (Stiller). Desperate to rescue his career after losing the Male Model of the Year Award (insert oh-so-VH-1 ceremony here) to his up-and-coming rival, the dreaded, sexy surfer stud Hansel (Owen Wilson), Derek is ripe for reprogramming. Hired by the industry's designer de jour -- played by Will Ferrell in a poodle wig, charcoal eyeliner and a leather corset -- Derek is brainwashed to snap at a runway show for a new line of homeless bum-inspired ready-to-wear, called Derelicte (that's derelict with an "e" on the end). Ferrell has invited the Third World leader to sit in the front row.

Will Zoolander's echo chamber of a brain be able to resist his conditioning and save the day? Ba-ba-buuumm!

If you're not laughing yet, just close your eyes and picture Stiller sporting a very blank stare and a zebra-print suit, strutting like Travolta with a wedgie.

The fashion world has never taken it on the chin harder than in this screamingly funny spoof of modeling and international intrigue, the likes of which Austin Powers can only dream about.

Co-written and directed by Stiller, and based on a character he created for the utterly contrived VH-1 Fashion Awards a few years back, "Zoolander" isn't just another low-brow, see-what-sticks satire. There are so many onion-like layers of dumb, and smart, and esoteric comedy here that my cheeks hurt from laughing when the credits rolled.

Interestingly, while Stiller's endless mugging as the whisper-voiced bimbo boy toy is a hoot, as a director he's not afraid to let himself be frequently upstaged by perfecto comedy performances from his supporting cast and cameo players (David Bowie, Tommy Hilfiger, Gwen Stefani, Claudia Schiffer -- there are dozens).

Always amazingly artless in his impeccable deadpan delivery, Owen Wilson steals every scene here (as he did in "Meet the Parents" and "Shanghai Noon") by playing Hansel with a straight face. He actually looks strangely sexy, yet is even more absurdly doltish than Stiller without even looking as if he's trying. The two rival models settle their differences and team up to stop the assassination -- but it won't be easy since they haven't three brain cells between them.

Jon Voight and Vince Vaughn are a laugh in uncredited roles as Zoolander's estranged coal-mining kinfolk who refuse to take him in when he's down and out.

Christine Taylor (Marcia in the "Brady Bunch" movies and Stiller's real-life wife) shows real talent and comedic timing as a magazine reporter who stumbles onto the fashion conspiracy while writing a fluff piece-turned-hit piece on Derek Zoolander and male models in general. She also becomes Derek's love interest after giving in to her wild side at an industry orgy. "There was a moment last night," moons Derek, "when she was sandwiched between the two Finish midgets and the Sherpa guy, that I really felt something for her."

Acting from behind a feral chest-toupee, Jerry Stiller (Ben's father, but better known as George Constanza's pop on "Seinfeld") is a chuckle too, as head of Balls Management, which specializes in male models. And ex-model Milla Jovovich chews scenery with great enthusiasm as Ferrell's dominatrix-in-red-leather head henchwoman, sort of a younger, oversexed Natasha from "Rocky & Bullwinkle."

Even habitually over-the-top Ferrell gives a great comedic performance, and that's something he's never done outside of the occasional "Saturday Night Live" skit.



Zoolander

Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th September 2001

Box Office USA: $44.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $60.8M

Budget: $28M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, NPV Entertainment, Scott Rudin Productions, Red Hour Productions, Tenth Planet Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Fresh: 84 Rotten: 47

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Derek Zoolander, as Hansel, as Matilda Jeffries, as Mugatu, as Katinka, as Maury Ballstein, as J.P. Prewitt, as Larry Zoolander, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, Cuba Gooding Jr. as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Herself, as Himself, as Herself, as Herself, as Himself, as Herself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, Lil' Kim as Herself, as Himself, as Herself, as Herself, as Himself, as Evil DJ, as Olga the Masseuse, as American Designer, as British Designer, as John Wilkes Booth, as Monkey Photographer, as Herself, as Herself, as Himself, as Herself, as Luke Zoolander, as Himself, as Himself, as Meekus, as Scrappy Zoolander, Nathan Lee Graham as Todd

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.