By Preman Koshar || Arts & Entertainment Editor
Zoolander is an unusual movie, to say the least. Directed by and starring Ben Stiller, it makes a mockery of the fashion industry. It tells the tale of male model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), who is famous for his many seemingly identical “looks,” and his rival Hansel (Owen Wilson) when Derek is brainwashed to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Derek is impossibly stupid, and his idiocy only reinforces the stereotype that male models are not, well, intellectually inclined. The film is filled with countless misunderstandings and silly moments as a result.
The cinematography was not bad in particular, but it wasn’t at all noticeable—nothing about it was distinctive. It never caught my eye or added to a scene. It was simply there. The score was decent—many scenes were based around songs, and the movie would’ve felt a lot different without them. There were never any moments that I thought that the score was off, which was surprising considering the general jarring nature of the film. The score flowed well with the rest of the film.
The acting in Zoolander was very well done. Stiller did a fantastic job as the idiot model, and Wilson made for a very lovable sidekick. Will Ferrell was also entertaining as the blonde villain Mugatu. The dialogue was also well done, filled with clever one-liners that captured the film’s ridiculousness. Stiller made use of these particularly well, and his facial expressions only made them better. The plot was predictable and followed a lot of common tropes, but was still a lot of fun nonetheless. It was easy to see that the actors themselves were having a lot of fun making the film, and art is almost always the best when the artist is making what he or she wants to make—and Ben Stiller was definitely doing exactly that.
All in all, Zoolander is a crazy film that, quite simply, has a good time. It doesn’t really have an agenda, or a point to make—it just wants to make the audience laugh. That’s a pretty rare thing these days; many comedic movies get too philosophical for their own good. Ben Stiller knows how to give people plain old good comedy, and that is, unfortunately, an accomplishment. Zoolander succeeds for this reason, and excels once combined with Stiller’s own ridiculous acting.
Preman Koshar is the Arts & Entertainment Editor. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.