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Zoolander (2001)
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Review Date: September 30, 2001
Director: Ben Stiller
Writer: Ben Stiller, Drake Sather, John Hamburg
Producers: Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld, Scott Rudin
Actors:
Ben Stiller
Owen Wilson
Will Ferrell
Plot:
Derek Zoolander is a male model. He is also very dumb and impressionable. For that reason, he is secretly hired and trained (so secret, that even he doesn't know about it) by an underground fashion syndicate to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia, who wants to abolish child labor in his country. Will Zoolander fulfill the dirty deed? Will Zoolander ever grace the world his new "look"? Is this a funny movie? Find out below...
Critique:
There's a place in our world for "stupid comedies". Films which don't pretend to take themselves seriously, are based on idiotic premises and filled with dumb jokes. There's also a time for them and many would argue that this difficult period of our history, might be an ideal circumstance during which to "relax" by watching something so completely frivolous. Well, if you're in the mood for some seriously mindless entertainment, Ben Stiller and his cast of many have assembled one of the more original dumb comedies in some time. Of course, comedies as such are usually very subjective and I could see how some will see this film simply as stupid and unfunny, while others will grant them the "stupid", but consider it funny instead. I personally enjoyed it for the most part, cracked up loudly during a couple of specific sequences and loved the Derek Zoolander character and the unrestrained whipping they released upon the fashion industry. Snap! It was also nice to see several real-life models with small roles in the movie, not taking themselves too seriously. And if you're the type of person who likes celebrity cameos in films, well, don't look any further because dozens of famous faces show up here including Vince Vaughn, Billy Zane, Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, David Duchovny, Natalie Portman and many, many others. I especially liked Andy Dick's complete make-over as the masseuse. Hi-larious!

But with all films of this type, there is bound to be some stuff that simply doesn't work. A few particulars which didn't strike my fancy included the bulimia and "orgy" sequence with Christine Taylor, the break-dance fighting, and I also never get why they use real countries in plots like this (why not just "make up" a country, instead of zeroing in on a certain people?). I also could have done with less of the Taylor character in general, since she wasn't all that interesting and seemed to slow things down every now and then (more Zoolander, dude!). But those few missteps were nothing compared to some of the more memorable scenes which definitely did work for me! I almost pissed myself during the "gas station" disaster, absolutely adored the "walk-off" contest (with David Bowie as the judge, no less) and appreciated many of Zoolander's moronic one-liners ("I was a Merman...a Merman!!"). And I dare you to get his "monkey" photo shoot out of your head after seeing this movie ("You're a monkey, Derek...a monkey!") I also really liked the soundtrack and the pace of the film, both of which zipped and zagged, and established a nice rhythm to it all. Again, it's to note that this movie is dumb and not for everyone, but my guess is that if you laughed at the trailer, you will likely enjoy many of the quips in the actual picture as well. If you thought the trailer was dumb, skip this dodo bird and go rent AUSTIN POWERS again or something, a film from which there is an obvious influence here. Blue Steel, baby...yeah!!!
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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