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

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

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.