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

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.