Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual content and drug references.
Directed By: Ben Stiller
Written By: Drake Sather and Ben Stiller
Staring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Christine Taylor, Milla Jovovich, David Duchovny, Jerry Stiller, Jon Voight, Donald Trump, Christian Slater, and Billy Zane
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. -Derek Zoolander
At the end of his career, a clueless fashion model is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Zoolander was a re-watch for me, and due to my mixed feelings about Ben Stiller engines, this one was once the scapegoat for all things I hate about Ben Stiller, and watching Zoolander once again, I find myself with equal disenchantment for this film that seems to focus on the annoying and obnoxious rather than the clever and funny. The shame of it is the fact that Stiller can be hilarious, whether it’s his own creation or not. In this instance Zoolander is nothing more than a collection of wilted comedy.
The set up has it’s comedic potential with the plot revolving around two male models who’s thinking capacity resembles that of a weathered box of rocks. The two are competitors in their line of work, but chance, a ridiculous plot, and scheme for assassination by anorganization that uses the fashion industry as a front brings them and a New York Times together as allies against the man who uses their beauty and stupidity as a tool.
Often, I can find myself annoyed or just not in tune with whatever humor Ben Stiller is serving, but his character Derek Zoolander left me bored most of the time. The most redeeming scenes were cameos with others like Billy Zane, or even his counterpart, Owen Wilson, who often stole the scene as his Hansel, the newest icon in male modeling. Without them, and even with them the film actually becomes boring. The tangents that Zoolander goes off on is often irrelevant to the story and unfunny when standing on their own. Not to say I didn’t indulge in the occasional laugh, there were a few moments that were quite funny, but scenes like the walk off left me underwhelmed.
If anything Zoolander was disappointing. It had some serious star power, but even Jerry Stiller and Will Ferrell weren’t able to salvage the disaster of Zoolander. It was an unorganized mess of humor that never came together and unified itself as a film rather than a bunch of unconnected jokes that carried for far too long. It’s not as though I’m not a fan of pointless comedy, but it does need to be somewhat cohesive and the jokes have to be funny, not just platforms for individual actors to go crazy, and even that only works if there is an actor the ground the situation.
I really tried to watch Zoolander with fresh untainted eyes, and I feel I gave it an honest second chance, but it’s truly just not a funny movie, and not enjoyable on a larger scale. Ben Stiller has a certain kind of humor that has a very specific appeal, and to his hard core fans this movie may be funny, but to the general public, it is at it’s best a mediocre attempt at being funny. This isn’t a movie I’d recommend unless you have a few hours of your time you have absolutely no use for.