Zoolander’s really, really good lookin’, but he doesn’t cut it

One of the main reasons a person can be disappointed in “Zoolander” is due to the high expectations of director/star Ben Stiller.
I have been a fan of Stiller since his early films including his funniest picture “Flirting with Disaster” and on his TV series. Stiller returns to the Director’s chair after directing the superb yet misunderstood ‘The Cable Guy.”
One could say “Zoolander” can also be a misunderstood film. In this film, there is no subtle, dark comedy as in ‘The Cable Guy’; only pure laughs in the midst of the weirdest plot since the original ‘Ace Ventura’ film.
The story is constructed around the villain Mugatu. Played by Will Ferrell, he is a fashion designer with the most outlandish sense of style.
In a nutshell, the plot goes like this: Mugatu’s clothes are made in Malaysia where he relies on child labor to make a large profit. When Malaysia has a new President who vows on banning this form of labor, Mugatu hires Stiller’s Zoolander character to brainwash him into assassinating the President at the next Fashion Show.
Stiller plays the male super model who is seemingly at the end of his career; thus tempting him to take the job. ‘Zoolander’ is surrounded with great actors such as Stiller, Ferrell and the Fantastic Owen Wilson (Armageddon, Meet the Parents).
Wilson plays Hansel; the new super model who forces Zoolander into seclusion after a botched awards show that serves as the catalyst for the end of Zoolander’s career – A great scene.
Another cause for disappointment in Zoolander is that while the laughs are plentiful, I must admit; they are quite forgettable.
Stiller conveys the egocentricity of his Zoolander character tremendously, and his supporting cast including cameos from David Duchovny, Lenny Kravitz, Fabio and Winona Ryder. They all add to the laughs in this funny yet seemingly empty film.
It reminds me, unfortunately, of a string of comedic scenes strung together in a comedic fashion. While the film is funny, warm and gives you that feel-good ‘shot’ at the end – it could have been so much more.
The main drawback to this film is that it falls into that category where every hero goes back to his roots to rediscover himself after failed attempts.
This is no exception, after Zoolander is not the male model of the world he goes back to Jersey where his father Jon Voight is a coal miner and disowns him once again. This, of course, forces Zoolander to try again and prove himself to be the best and unknowingly save the Malaysian President. This is all accomplished in formulaic style with a female love interest (Stiller’s real life wife Christine Taylor) who of course – they fall in love.
This film caters to all the past clichZs in other comedic films yet still manages to remain fresh by showing us a truly comedic glimpse into the fashion world.
Despite its’ tackiness and emptiness, one will find Zoolander a good laugh that is disappointing in terms of its’ ability to remain constant and enjoyable. Some scenes have no place yet others shine, demonstrating the imbalance within the film, which hopefully won’t be noticed
Unfortunately it is, and no matter how many cameos, the flaws turn the film into one to watch at a

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