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flick pick | Zoolander 2001
Directed by: Ben Stiller
Written by: Drake Sather, Ben Stiller, John Hamburg
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under: comedy
Watch it when you’re in the mood for
something: dumb but fun 
The critic says: / 5 the rating system explained
Fun factor: ½/5

Plot synopsis Internationally famous male supermodel Derek Zoolander [Ben Stiller] is just past the peak of his career, and in danger of having his position as the number one male model in the industry usurped by hot newcomer Hansel [Owen Wilson]. In the same week that Derek loses his title as reigning Male Model of the Year to his new rival, a scathing article appears in Time magazine, in which a pretty young journalist named Matilda Jeffries [Christine Taylor] calls Derek a "a model idiot" and a has-been. As Derek worries about his future and considers taking a break from the high-pressure modeling circuit, a cutting-edge fashion designer named Mugatu [Will Ferrell] asks Derek to be the face of the designer’s next collection (amusingly named Derelicte). What Zoolander doesn't realize is that Mugatu has darker plans in store for him. Backed by a group of the world’s most powerful fashion moguls, Mugatu’s on a mission to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia, whose desire to put an end to child labor in that country has the fashion bigwigs scared that they won’t be able to stay in business. A male model, naturally, provides the perfect tool for these nefarious plans – after all, he's 100% guaranteed to do what he's told without asking any pesky questions. Which is how Zoolander finds himself getting brainwashed by Mugatu into becoming an assassin.

Review Zoolander is like brain anti-food: not only will it not make you smarter, but you may well expend a few brain cells in the struggle to convince your mind to switch to a temporary off position during the movie’s length. If, on the other hand, you’re having one of those hellish days where you’re poor, overly-taxed brain already feels fried beyond immediate repair, take advantage of the mental downtime and indulge in a good helping of Zoolander’s supreme silliness. Yes, Zoolander the movie is only a hair less stupid than Derek Zoolander himself. The potentially satirical jabs at the inherently hilarious fashion industry are generally pretty light lobs at very easy targets – it’s all too nicey-nice and good-natured in its ribbing to move beyond simple spoofing. Still, there are some hilarious laughs to be had at the expense of the modeling world, especially when the movie pushes the humor to the fullest extents of absurdity. There’s nothing particularly clever about portraying male models as vain mental midgets, or the fashion world as a melodrama-filled microcosm where the pettiest, most frivolous disagreements are played out as full-on, global-scale wars, but in the scenes where Zoolander drops its attempts at making a point and succumbs to full-on farce – as in an absolutely hilarious "walk-off" in which Zoolander and Hansel square off in a runway battle which can only be described as the modeling world equivalent of a duel -- it borders on the inspired. Factor in Stiller’s natural charm – you can’t help but like Derek Zoolander, even in his pettier moments -- and Owen Wilson’s irresistible loopiness as Zenned-out surfer-dude-turned-model Hansel, and Zoolander has a way of worming its way into your affections. —reviewed by Y. Sun

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