Classic Movie Thursdays: Zoolander Review

So I watched Zoolander…


This is one of those movies that I always become excited to see whenever I see it’s showing while channel-surfing. It’s such a great piece of satire and honestly a genuinely hilarious film. This full is chock-full of quotable dialogue and scenes that will have you bursting at the seams.

Okay, basic plot: In the world of professional modelling there is one name that shines brightest of all – Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller). Though not particularly intelligent, Derek has amassed a treasure troth of amazing looks that have catapulted him to the peak of fashion. Looking to take Derek’s throne is Hansel (Owen Wilson), an up-and-coming modelling wunderkind who is “so hot right now”. These two rivals will have to put their differences aside and come together after Matilda Jeffries (Christine Taylor) – a reporter for TIME –  uncovers a deadly assassination scheme that involves the world of male modelling and its top designer Jacobim Mugatu (Will Ferrell).


I love it when a film embraces its own ridiculousness. There’s really nothing about Zoolander that is meant to be taken seriously. It’s an out-and-out laugh fest from the very first minute to the last. Often when a film delivers joke after joke like this, the story can become lost in the laughs; but Ben Stiller’s brilliant turn as the dimwitted Derek Zoolander keeps us firmly invested not only in the film’s humour but also its heart. Stiller was the ideal choice to play this character having created him, helped write the movie and sat in the director’s chair. Every moment in the film you feel like he’s doing something – whether it be a bewildered look or a nonsensical pout – to bring Zoolander to life. You constantly feel this astonishment at how mind-numbingly stupid Derek is; but have this great connection with him because of how good-natured and sincere he is.

Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell also put in amazing performances as the ruggedly handsome Hansel and villainous Mugatu, respectively. Ferrell, in particular, is a blast to watch and does a fantastic job showing off his comedic skills. Christine Taylor plays the straight man the in this film (i.e. the character who remains serious and levelheaded among the eccentric comedic hilarity, therefore, making the hilarity more ridiculous) and she does a great job at it. She’s the sobering influence and helps remind us how ridiculous Zoolander’s world is. The film is also filled with countless celebrity cameos. My favourite of these, without doubt, being Billy Zane. Zane’s appearance – though brief – adds a sleek, cool finish to the film.


Zoolander‘s appeal comes not only from its talented comedic actors but also its wonderfully wacky script. It continuously pushes the comedy to be more absurd but also has a plethora of witty, well-written jokes. It reaches that perfect blend of being completely unbelievable and extreme but also plausible and grounded. There are so many lines in this film that are quote-worthy and this shows the great balance between strong comedic performances and an excellently written script full of humour.

Overall, Zoolander is a riot! It still remains one of the funniest movies ever made and Stiller’s performance in this is the best I’ve seen of him. It’s worth watching and is one of those movies you have to see at least once in your life.


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