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A movie directed by Ben Stiller

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Strike a Pose, Supermodel Extreme Derek Zoolander is here. is here.

  • Sep 26, 2001
  • by
Pros: Some good Laughs, Great cameos and wilsona nd Stiller are great.

Cons: Weak plot and some jokes bomb.

The Bottom Line: Although the plot is weak, there are some great laughs in the film.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Ah the life of a model. All that glamour, money, famous people wanting to be your friend, and those outrageous parties, the life that many dream of.
To many of us, we know that the glamour is often an illusion as modeling is a world filled with backstabbing, infighting, and all manner of leaches who use people and then spit them out. Most people are well aware of this, but why do so many people want to be a part of it? It is the desire for fame, money, and all the trappings?
While that is often part of it, the simple answer for some is that they just do not know any better. Such is the case of Derek Zoolander, three time male model of the year, and inventor of the famous Blue Steel look.
Writer, Director, and Producer Ben Stiller has created with the help of MTV movie awards writer Drake Sather, Derek Zoolander, male model supreme and as clueless as he is famous. Derek is a legend in his own, mind, obsessed with his looks, and very jealous and petty. Ah, but beneath this shiny front, there is a man in deep pain.
Derek is up for an unprecedented fourth Male Model of the Year award, and standing is his way, is the hot new model Hansel(Owen Wilson) who Derek sees as a poser not worthy of any attention. When the winner is announced, Derek strides to the podium to give yet another acceptance speech. Fate has dealt Derek a cruel blow, when he realizes that Hansel, has won the award, and that he is no longer the top model in the world. As a result, Derek suffers depression and starts to feel vounerable and question his life and choices he has made.
Before he knows what has happened, Derek has lost his three friends in a gas fight accident, and is portrayed in a Time Magazine cover story as an idiot. Desperate to find out if there is more to life than a pretty face, Derek heads home to work in the family business, coal mining.
Needless to say, Derek’s father(John Voight), is not happy to see his son back, and is even less impressed with his male mermaid commercials, and lack of a manly job. The reunion is short lived, and Derek soon becomes a pawn in a deadly scheme created by designer, Mugatu(Will Ferrell), and his hired muscle, Katinka(Milla Jovovich) from using him to kill the new Malaysian Prime Minister. It seems the new Prime Minister is bent on closing sweatshops in his land, and since sweatshops are the backbone of the fashion industry, and he is not willing to be bribed, he must be stopped at all costs.
Assisting Derek in his quest to find himself and who is behind the plot, are Stiller’s real life Wife Christine Taylor, as Matilda, a reporter and love interest, and comedy legend, and Ben’s father Jerry Stiller plays the head of the Derek’s modeling agency Maury Ballstein.
One of the biggest surprises in the film is Wilson, who worked with stiller previously in “Meet the Parents” and “Permanent Midnight”. Wilson portrays Hansel as a deep, spiritual person, who while not as shallow as Derek, is just as clueless, but a globe trotting thrill seeker who is looks up to Derek secretly. When Wilson and Stiller are on the screen, they have a great chemistry and it results in some great comic moments in the film.
This film is one of those films that is difficult to review. On one hand, it was stupid, lacking a story, and many of the jokes were not that funny, or seemed forced. However, there were some great laughs in the film, and on more than one instance I caught myself laughing long and hard at some of the antics that were unfolding on screen.
Stiller shows that he is a talent, as he keeps Derek sympathetic despite portraying him as shallow and selfish, yet sympathetic and worth routing for. We learn that Derek is worried about losing his fame, and that he family does not accept his career. He also decides that he wants to help others, but is not sure whom to help, simply “those who need help” he proclaims.
What makes “Zoolander” interesting is the way it shows the bad side of an industry while poking fun at the excess. For example, we see the shallow, plotting characters that are only concerned with who is hot today. We also see the extreme measures some will take to succeed in the industry, and we see the pain that many have when they realize that they are hot today, and forgotten tomorrow as is the case of a retired hand model played by David Duchovny.
As a director, Stiller keeps the film moving along and does not take himself or the film too seriously and as such neither should the audience. While not the comedies that Stiller gave audiences with “Meet the Parents”, and “There’s Something About Mary”, Stiller shows that he is not afraid to try new avenues to express himself. In the lower profile yet funny “Mystery Men: and “Keeping the Faith” Stiller showed characters that he can get comedy as either playing the straight guy, or as the over the top character. At times, “Zoolander” is very funny, as Derek has his extremes, yet has a sensitive, caring side side. The walk off scene between Derek and Hansel is very funny and had the audience in stitches. So how does the final product add up? Much like a fashion show, gaudy, at times extreme, some presentations hit, others miss, but in the end, most of us had a good time. When seeing “Zoolander” take a cue from Derek, and turn your brain off for a while and you just might have a good time in spite of yourself.

3 stars out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach



Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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More Zoolander reviews
review by . December 12, 2010
Zoolander, what can I say about Zoolander? Well, for starters, it's an incredibly fun movie that even if you try to dislike it, you can't. Another thing about it is that it is definitely an acquired taste. No matter how much I try to convince people that Zoolander is an awesome movie, some just won't believe me, and I can accept that, even if i don't personally agree.      For those of you who don't know, Zoolander is a movie about male models Derek Zoolander …
review by . August 27, 2010
posted in Music Matters
With preening self-importance and pouty narcissism already baked into the industry's DNA - torturing couture fashion almost certainly lacks good sportsmanship. Fashion has always been a satirists Piñata party so I was pleased that Zoolander went well beyond the clichéd "dumb model" premise to focus on the countless small affectations that make fashionistas well, fashionistas.      From the first scene where the shadowed, dimly recognizable outlines …
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
4.5 Stars: This Quick Tip is for those who are REALLY REALLY Good-Looking and can't read good... :)
Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Possibly my favorite Ben Stiller movie. Some of the best one liners come from this movie and if you don't know anything about fashion...you'll still love it
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Stupidly funny, Ben Stiller takes us into the cut-throat world of male modeling. Will Ferrell plays an amazing villain.
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
super funny even though the actual concept its compleatly dumb. all of the characters play their parts so well its hard not to laugh.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Campy done well. Ben Stiller and cast do an excellent job in this parody of the fashion industry.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
"I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is". Took the words right out of my mouth... ;D
Quick Tip by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I love any movie with you know who in it. I think he is one the best actors directors of our time right now!
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
this is such a funny movie. i laughed from begining to end.
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #111
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, Milla Jovovich, Jerry Stiller, David Cuchovny, David Bowie, Jon Voight
Directed by Ben Stiller
Writer:  Drake Sather, Ben Stiller

Product Description
Clear the runway for derek zoolander vh1s three-time male model of the year. His falls when hippie-chic hansel scooters in to steal this years award. The evil fashion guru mugatu seizes the opportunity to turn derek into a killing machine. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 01/04/2005 Starring: Ben Stiller Will Ferrell Run time: 89 minutes Rating: Pg13 Director: Ben Stiller
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Director: Ben Stiller
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 28 September 2001 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Ben Stiller, Drake Sather
Runtime: 89 min
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