I forgot how goofy this movie was lol
Ben Stiller doesn't direct a film often but when he does, love it or hate it, at least it's something very much unique. The Cable Guy was dark and twisted, Tropic Thunder was big, loud and action-packed and Zoolander was... really really, ridiculously good looking.
And pretty damn funny.
Ben Stiller plays Derek Zoolander, a dimwitted male model known for his trademark "looks" (Blue Steel and Le Tigre, among others) who, after losing out to new male modelling sensation Hansel (a perfect Owen Wilson) at a fashion awards show, decides to retire from modelling and try to find himself. Little does he know that the combined efforts of Will Ferrell's eccentric fashion designer Mugatu, Jerry Stiller's sleazy manager and a bunch of shady fashionistas are plotting to program him to murder the Malaysian prime minister who is planning to up the pays of textile factory workers. It's dumb, ludicrous and about as plausible as David Bowie judging a "walk-off" and yet... in Stiller's hands it works. It's basically a cartoon but it works. Think Austin Powers level of humour and apply it to the fashion industry and you've got yourself a good idea of what Zoolander is like. The main joke throughout, of course, is that male models are dumb and boy do they make the most of that. From mistaking a model home for a real location to putting on embarrassing displays of machismo, struggling to understand the concept of a computer, attempting to remove their underwear without removing their trousers... the list goes on. It's an avalanche of dumb jokes and even though you'd expect something like that to get old really quickly, Zoolander surprisingly stays goofy and, ultimately, funny enough until the end to keep you watching.
The film is cameo heavy with the likes of David Bowie, Billy Zane, Andy Dick, Donald Trump, Natalie Portman, Vince Vaughn, Justin Theroux and about a million other people showing up for a laugh. David Duchovny also pops up as a down-and-out hand model and Milla Jovovitch excels as the typical Russian femme fatale cartoon villain. She really should be out there hunting down Rocky and Bullwinkle, not forcing Ben Stiller into dodgy day spas. Speaking of which, one of the highlights of the film is a scene in which Zoolander is being hypnotised by a nutty film put together by Ferrell's character. It is, in a word: glorious. Rarely has Ben Stiller been willing to be this consistently silly during an entire film and it's a shame because, as dumb as Zoolander is, it's also one of the most consistently funny films he's been in. Of course, this being a joke-a-minute type of movie, it'll always be a little hit-and-miss but this is one which gets it mostly right.
You won't feel smarter after watching Zoolander and you'll think twice about bathing in fuel while having frappuccino parties with your friends at random petrol stations but surely that's not such a bad thing?
Don't like it?
Well then you know what you can "derelicte".