Zoolander

"Very Good"

Zoolander Review


In Zoolander, the world's most successful, influential and intellectually-challenged male model Derek Zoolander wonders, "Is there more to life than being really really really good looking?" Obviously, the film's creator and star Ben Stiller asked a similar question when crafting a feature-length movie out of his hilarious VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards short-film subject: Can there be more to this film than being really really really silly? No, of course not, and it never aspires to be anything more.

Much like Derek, Zoolander is a sweet simpleton of a movie. It's not complex in either its social commentary or its comedy, and it never produces any gut-busting laughs (except maybe a scene when Derek's model roommates all die in a tragic "gasoline fight" accident -- a riotously funny take-off of Tommy Hilfiger ads). But it has a satisfying handful of strong chuckles, wild characters and performances, and mildly harsh potshots at the fashion industry to keep you amused. Better yet, this exaggerated version of the original three-minute skit is only blown out to an efficient 95 minutes -- just enough time to string together its goofball plot without exhausting the gag.

Zoolander opens with several fashion bigwigs plotting to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia, since he wants to abolish child labor in his country and thus driving up their costs. Fashion designer and criminal mastermind Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell) drafts a plan to brainwash the dumbest fashion model to carry out the evil deed. Enter Derek, whose career is slumping as newcomer Hansel (Owen Wilson) takes the spotlight. On the trail of Mugatu's plot is Time magazine reporter Matilda Jeffries (Stiller's real-life wife Christine Taylor), and she's hoping to use Mugatu's pawn Derek to ultimately foil the scheme.

Much like the Austin Powers films, Zoolander relies heavily on the strength of the talent involved, and this zany comedy features some of the funniest people in entertainment today. Wilson is hysterical as the young, vain Hansel. Ferrell nearly steals the show from everyone as the flamboyant, freakish Mugatu in the same way Dr. Evil upstages everyone in Austin Powers. Jerry Stiller -- Ben's dad who's best remembered as Frank Costanza of Seinfeld -- makes a priceless turn as Derek's slimy agent Maury Ballstein. Even Ben Stiller Show alum Andy Dick shows up as a deranged, large-assed masseuse. As for Ben Stiller, it seems his Derek has one gag: He's stupid, which plays out in some uproarious one-liners.

Unfortunately, Taylor seems out of place and out of her league here. Maybe it's just because I can't stop seeing her as Marcia Brady (who she played in both Brady movies), making her unbelievable as a dowdy, brainy plain Jane who hasn't had sex in two years. She leaves me pining for the cynicism of Janeane Garofolo, who would've added real comic substance to the flimsy role.

While Zoolander is hardly highbrow, its screwball humor is welcome during these trying times, especially considering the gross lack of decent pickings in the theaters these days. Zoolander's no masterpiece, but a very worthy distraction.

The Zoolander DVD features a ton of extras and a lot of love from Stiller, but not much of it improves the film. Highlights include a commentary from he and his writers, plus a load of deleted, extended, alternate, and flubbed scenes -- with all the profanity bleeped out. &@#$*!

Now is the time on Sprockets when we shoot.



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 / 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

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

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.