Thursday, February 11, 2016

Movie Review: "Zoolander" (2001)

Image Source
Director: Ben Stiller
Year: 2001
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

In order to keep labor prices low in Malaysia, fashion designer Mugatu (Will Ferrell) hatches a scheme to brainwash the iconic but moronic fashion model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) into assassinating the Malaysian prime minister.

Written, directed by, and starring Ben Stiller, "Zoolander" is a satirical spoof on the world of high fashion and modeling. Stiller's titular character of Derek Zoolander is someone who has only ever gotten by on his ridiculously, ridiculously good looking looks, and it's a good thing, too, because he isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. In fact, he is closer to a spoon than anything. Joining Stiller is Owen Wilson as the young, up and coming fashion model and rival of Zoolander, Hansel, who for the first time in three years beats out Derek for male model of the year. Hansel is the free spirited hippy Buddhist adventurer type who is every bit as dimwitted as Derek, if not more so. The villain of  this film is fashion designer Mugatu, played by expertly by Will Ferrell. Mugatu's claim to fame was inventing the piano key necktie in the 80's. He and other fashion designers need labor costs to stay low so their products can be produced at a minimal cost. Mugatu winds up brainwashing the dopey Zoolander to kill the prime minister of Malaysia so these costs will stay as low as they need them to.

Despite all of the dimwitted characters in "Zoolander," however, as silly as it is, it truly has a lot of underlying wit. It is loaded with cameos, which in itself isn't funny out of context, but many of the cameos offer up some great sarcasm and hilarious gag moments. There are just so many great scenes here, and we can't help but laugh at them because it's both intentionally dumb and simultaneously smart at the same time. The interactions between Stiller and Wilson are always fun, but when Ferrell gets thrown into the mix, it's even more riotous. Sure, they are strung together by a rather lose plot that goes any which way and all over the place, but overall, it works as Stiller and company put on zany performances. There is no doubt that this is an entertaining film, at least for us, though we don't really know if it's the kind of movie that needs a sequel. It's been years since we watched this movie last and we felt the need and want to re-familiarize ourselves with it before the sequel is released this weekend. Even now, so many years later, we found ourselves laughing at subtle jokes we had forgotten like it was our first time watching it. "Zoolander" might not be for everyone, but it's certainly fine for us! 

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 64%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Jupiter Ascending"

No comments:

Post a Comment