Zoolander (2001)

PG-13   |    |  Comedy


Zoolander (2001) Poster

At the end of his career, a clueless fashion model is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

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6.6/10
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  • Ben Stiller in Zoolander (2001)
  • Ben Stiller in Zoolander (2001)
  • Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Zoolander (2001)
  • Ben Stiller in Zoolander (2001)
  • Ben Stiller in Zoolander (2001)
  • Ben Stiller in Zoolander (2001)

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User Reviews


21 October 2001 | gregherk
8
| Zoolander is stupid funny!
Derek Zoolander is stupid. So is his movie. But by no means, is Zoolander humorless. Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, Zoolander is a very funny movie, if you know what to expect. Based on a character that Stiller created for the 1996 VH1 Fashion Awards, Derek Zoolander was originally intended to satirize the fashion industry. The movie does no less and as a result, has received some very negative patron reviews. Audiences went into Zoolander expecting another Ben Stiller, Meet the Parents-type comedy, and when they got an offbeat movie about the fashion industry's plot to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia, they didn't know how to react. To enjoy Zoolander, one has to forget all expectations and see the movie for what it is supposed to be: ridiculous.

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.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first television coverage of the September 11 attacks, on the WNYW channel, interrupted a commercial for this movie.


Quotes

(Announcer): And here in Malaysia, there is an almost overwhelming sense of euphoria as the newly-elected prime minister has given this nation a gift of hope promising to raise the substandard minimum wage and end child labor once and for all. Already considered...


Goofs

Near the end of the movie Derek is in the dressing room wearing one kind of makeup, but when he's on the stage afterward it's a different kind.


Alternate Versions

Additional scenes on DVD include:

  • Additional celebrity interviews outside the VH1 Fashion Awards of Donatella Versace and Moby
  • Extended walk-off footage of Derek and Hansel doing Elvis Presley moves, and then Derek doing Bob Fosse moves
  • Extended coal mine sequence starts with the Zoolander men sitting in the mine shaft elevator turning on their helmets; later Derek talks to a miner who can't breathe down in the mine
  • Extended sequence of Derek walk home from the Fashion Awards: the car that splashes him in the face a limo full of supermodels who invite Derek to a sex party--he declines; he goes to a nightclub where he fights his way past six bouncers through increasingly-smaller VIP rooms to tell off Hansel--who's talking with a sycophantic Winona Ryder about how bogus awards shows are and that he didn't feel any ill will about Derek trying to take the award from him--in the smallest one, and Derek is physically ejected from the place--explaining the limp he has when he gets home
  • Extended scene of Matilda interviewing Derek: his support crew give her a look when she suggests that his "Ferrari," "Blue Steel," and "Le Tigre" looks are all identical, then he rolls his eyes when she says she works for Time magazine.
  • Alternate hypnosis sequence at Mugatu's spa leaves out the justification of child labor
  • Extended Zoolander Center commercial footage: a sufficiently cleaned-up J.P. Prewitt teaches history there, saying that the pyramids were built by male models; his left hand has also shriveled up


Soundtracks

Stars and Stripes Forever
Written by
John Philip Sousa

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