Zoolander Cover Aren't models just lovely to look at. Heck, just in the way that they stand around and jiggle for a bit, before pouting to the camera in very a provocative way. Still, is their more to them than just that? Do models have feelings? Do models have emotions? And what do models do when they are not in front of a camera? Want to find out? Then watch this film Directed and Starring Ben Stiller, with Owen Wilson, Will Ferrel, and Winona Ryder. It was made in 2001, and lasts for 89 minutes.


The underworld modelling industry needs a patsy to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia, because he is coming down very hard on child labor laws, and affecting their profits in the process. So what do they do rectify this situation? Simple really. They urge fashion guru, Javonim Mugatu (Will Ferrell), to obtain a dim-witted simpleton, brain-wash him, and then force him to kill the Malaysian Prime Minister.

OK, so who does Mugatu get to accomplish this task? Simple again. Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller)- that's who. The top fashion male model who has recently been de-frocked by rising star, Hansel (Owen Wilson), and is now on a personal quest to find himself after being slandered by the press, the death of his male-modelling mates, and then rejected of his coal-mining Father.

You see it is here, at Zoolander's lowest ebb, that Mugatu hires him via his modelling agent, Maury Ballstein (Jerry Stiller), under the guise of promoting Mugatu’s new fashion line which he will present to the Malaysian Prime Minister in a weeks or so's time.

However, before this can come to pass, Mugatu brainwashes Zoolander for a week within a disused ‘spa’, using the Frankie Goes To Hollywood classic, 'Relax', as a subliminal trigger to instigate this dubious deed.
So you can guess what happens Zoolander after this is completed, right? No - he does not attempt to kill the Mal-P.M. straight away. Instead, he inadvertently makes a couple of new friends.

Now the the first person Zoolander makes the acquaintance of, is Time Magazine reporter, Matilda Jeffries - which does have its good points, over time. The second person that comes under his 'pal-dar', is his usurper, Hansel - an association which also does have a both positive and negative affect on him. And the third person that Zoolander treats as an ally, is ex-hand model, J.P. Prewett (David Duchovney) - who unveils to him Mugatu's true nature.

Well, I suppose that is why what next transpires happens on a cat-walk all in all. As ploys are exposed - attempts are transposed - bad-guys are hosed - and poses are posed.


A word of warning to all you super-models out there – beware – as with every passer-by you meet, expect the stare of a constipated giraffe to come zooming straight at you. You see, 'Zoolander' is a spoof of a parody of an industry, poking fun at the beautiful people with a wry comment and lemony look. Moreover, models are the prime target of this film as well, and the person pulling the trigger is none other than pretty boy himself, Ben Stiller, BOING!

Zoolander Magnum

Ben manages to somehow saunter his way through this movie effortlessly, creating a archetypal character that we can all enjoy on a superficial level. Now not only is Ben Stiller’s performance memorable in this movie, but also the others who have come out to play as well.

Owen Wilson does his usual dim-witted buffoon act with style, making his Hansel very believable at times. Though, regrettably to say, although he is still funny also, Will Ferrell's portrayal of Mugatu is a might too overt  for my taste, and he can appear to be over the top in his performance. Plus, you can say the same thing about Christine Taylor's performance too, just reverse the concept, as her ‘straight man’ act is emotionally defunct sporadically, stiff even.

Please note, I don’t know if what Christine was doing was intentional or not. It’s just the way in which she came across on screen did feel rather shallow in the execution. And considering that she is the love interest in this film, plus being Ben Stiller’s wife in real life - maybe theirs an ‘in joke’ in here which never came across?

Ben and Owen in Zoolander

Ben, David and Owen in Zoolander
Maybe some facts could sort this mess out, huh? (1) This film was banned in Malaysia because it might have given the people in this country some idea how to kill their prime minister. No joke. (2) Owen Wilsons hair is not his own in this movie. He had to wear a wig because he was shooting another film back to back. (3) The images of the World Trade Center were removed before the films release date, 28 September 2001, as I sign of respect. (4) The part of Mugatu was originally written for Andy Dick in mind, who couldn't take this role because of prior work commitments. (5) Milla Jovovich based her performance on her own mother, Galina Jonovich. (6) Mugatu is named after Mugato from the Star Trek Book 'A Private Little War'. (7) The author of the 1998 book, 'Glamorama', Bret Easton Ellis, wrote a story about a dimwitted male model who finds himself intertwined within a terrorist ring, with roots in the fashion industry. He sued Ben Stiller after the release of this film, citing copyright infringement. The case was later settled out of court. And (8) Ben's "Blue Steel" look started off when his wife, Christine, joked about the way in which he combed his hair in front of the mirror.


Overall, 'Zoolander' is a classic comedy for its time, and for anytime. And though there are one or two minot flaws in performances and in story, by in large it is a great spoof on a professions that cries out to be spoofed - wouldn't you agree guys?

Strike a pose!


ZOOLANDER ZOOLANDER Reviewed by David Andrews on January 14, 2011 Rating: 5
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