MOVIE REVIEW: “Zoolander” stars Ben Stiller (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty , Tropic Thunder), Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris, Bottle Rocket), Christine Taylor (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Wedding Singer), Will Ferrell (Daddy’s Home, The Lego Movie), Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element, Resident Evil: Afterlife), Jerry Stiller (The King of Queens [TV series], Hairspray ), David Duchovny (The X-Files [TV series], Californication [TV series]), and Jon Voight (Transformers , National Treasure). It is directed by Ben Stiller, who also wrote it with Drake Sather (The Larry Sanders Show [TV series], NewsRadio [TV series]) and John Hamburg (Little Fockers, Along Came Polly). Derek Zoolander (Stiller), America’s three-time-winning Model of the Year, hits a low point in his career when he loses out to a newcomer in his model competition: Hansel (Wilson). Distraught, Zoolander desires to put his life on a new path, to help people; but his dreams are twisted when his opportunity is shadowed by a evil plot to brainwash him into killing the prime minister of Malaysia.
For some reason, “Zoolander” has been on my mind to see for quite some time. Probably six years, give or take. I’d never seen it before, and being a fan of Ben Stiller and co., I thought it’d be a fun watch (that, and the sequel was coming out around the time, so I wanted to catch up). Having now seen it, I can safely say… it’s not that bad. Enjoyable? Yes. Hilarious? Not really. There were a few times where “Zoolander” made me laugh, but not nearly as much as I would’ve thought. Maybe it’s one of those flicks you gotta see with friends to really have a riot. I don’t know. What I can say is I was entertained throughout regardless. It’s absurdist entertainment that seeks laughs without plausibility in story; what you see is what you get, and if you’re not interested in stupid comedies, then this isn’t for you. There isn’t much beneath the surface to “Zoolander.” I mean, the idea of it all is the transformation of a male model from someone selfish to someone with a passion to help people. It’s pretty straight-forward, and with that comes a plot that goes by-the-book. Nothing is unpredictable, except the amount of guest stars they brought aboard. My gosh was it insane. Some of them never even said a line (Vince Vaughn as Derek’s brother? Said nothing). All of the performances were pretty solid. Stiller is convincing in his role, even though it seems to be more of an exaggeration than character study. Wilson does what he does best, Ferrell is funny, Christine Taylor plays a good straight role, and you can’t go wrong with Jerry Stiller. I was surprised at the substantial part he got in this and was excited to see him perform. All in all, it’s your typical early-2000’s comedy from the frat pack. Granted, it doesn’t hit the mark like some of their others, but the concept is original and charming enough to warrant a watch. Some noteable scenes include the gas station sequence, the coal mining montage, and every time Ferrell sees Owen Wilson (“oh, that’s Hansel, he’s so hot right now”). If there’s anything to really say about “Zoolander,” it’s how I wished I laughed at it more. Quite a bit of jokes seemed to fall flat or just not land, and the story just kinda jumps from one place to the next. It’s a short comedy with no room to really carve out any of the characters. I mean, what do you expect? I expected to laugh more, and since I didn’t get that, I won’t be giving it an amazing score. However, I’d probably see it again. Sure, it might be in the background, but that’s kinda what “Zoolander” is for: an entertaining flick to put on every now and then. It has an original idea, and while not every joke hits the mark, it is at the very least a serviceable experience. FINAL SCORE: 74%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: