It’s 2001. George W Bush was President of the United States. Tony Blair ruled the British Empire. Destiny’s Child and Dido ruled the charts. In the cinema, we followed The Fellowship of the Ring and Harry’s Potter journey through Hogwarts. And Ben Stiller was a famed male model. Zoolander hit our screens and taught us that there is much more to life than being really really ridiculously good looking.
Now the titular supermodel is back with his pal Hansel, played by Owen Wilon and is set to shimmy down that catwalk again in 2016. In fact, they announced it in the best way…
Zoolander is about Derek Zoolander: A famed, kind but dim witted male model. When the newest “hot right now” model Hansel ousts Zoolander from the top stop and a derogatory article about him comes out, Zoolander retires from male modelling to pursue a different career. However, fashion designer Mugatu and head fashion honchos need him as a pawn to assassinate the Malaysian Prime minister who plans to eliminate sweatshops. When Derek Zoolander is kidnapped and brainwashed, it is up to Derek, Hansel and reporter Matilda Jeffries to stop the devil plan and change the face of fashion.
Zoolander was based on a small skit Stiller made for VH1 Fashion Awards. So the film is written by Ben Stiller, produced by Ben Stiller and directed by Ben Stiller, putting himself in the main role was only inevitable.
“Ben Stiller as a model?” I hear a lot of you cry.
Well, essentially that’s one of the main jokes of the movie. With Wilson as Hansel, these not aesthetically good looking men prancing around as though they are wonderful. All of this enhances a droll script with, witty dialogue, one liners and a completely out there plot make Zoolander a classic comedy. Held up fantastically by Farrell and Taylor, Zoolander is great protagonist who doesn’t need many (or any) IQ points to make a splash. It is outrageous fun with so many jokes and celebrity cameos (David Bowie is the best one) thrown in that you’ll be quoting it for the rest of your life. And the actors have the comedic timing town to a tee. One of the funniest moments is Owen Wilsons reaction to Bulimia being mind-reading. It’s hilariously done.
“Wetness is the essence of moisture and moisture is the essence of beauty.”
“I felt like ‘this guy is really hurting me.’ And it hurt.”
“Are you here to tell me what a bad eugoogoolizer I am?”
See, brilliance. It’s comical, filled with expressions and complete with some acting that is outrageous and rightly so. Even Will Farrell isn't strained or overused here
I had several lengthy debates about whether or not to class this as a stale treat or a cult classic. This was after several people classed it as “rubbish.” And to them I say “rubbish!” Zoolander is a genius piece of comedy that was under respected on its first release (it did poorly at but gained popularity through word of mouth and DVD sales.) The true essence of cult is when an under-appreciated film gains buzz and becomes a cultural phenomenon (see: Zoolander 2 announcement)
Zoolander makes great fun into exciting and exuberant art and it never gets tiresome or old.
It's for film for people who look good. And want to learn how to do other things good too.