I have seen some very weird films, but this joins the list of ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ and ‘Labyrinth’ as films that I thought were profoundly weird after viewing the film for the very first time. What I thought was a simple premise of a struggling male model, turned out to be a strange and wild ride, with many twists and right turns along the way.
The film revolves around Derek Zoolander, an acclaimed male model who has won three years in a row for the best male model of the year award. Having lost to Hansel (the hottest model in the industry today), he struggles to find who he is, although quickly joins Mugatu in his evil schemes of brainwashing models for doing his evil deeds.
‘Zoolander’ is occasionally funny, with some really great comedic lines that you don’t see coming (which is what comedy should be, and not just trying to get a forced laugh out of the viewer), examples include the school made for ants and the above average messages on his phone.
However, the film is very strange with its very over-the-top surrealism, such as Mugatu’s brainwashing video or the very out of place sexual references, which just come out of nowhere in the film’s tone.
Although, I must add that Derek’s downfall comes way too quickly, and isn’t as emotionally investing that I think should have been (as it feels like an act two plot thread – although this is just ten minutes in to the film). However, when Derek goes back to his home roots, the film surprisingly gets very emotional, and has some of the best gags with Derek fitting in as a miner, like his father and his two brothers are. The confrontation between his father’s disapproval of his son and Zoolander’s emotional scaring is the film’s highlight moment (and it’s not a gag or a joke), and makes you feel towards the character, and finally get his struggles, like the scene before it when he has his model downfall should have been, despite being executed visually as a depressing, down on his luck scene.
I don’t think ‘Zoolander’ is the hottest comedy out there, or the most ridiculously good looking film ever, I do think there are elements of the film that did make me laugh, and provide an emotional weight which I found to be refreshing and wasn’t always trying to crack a joke for the sake of making jokes. ‘Zoolander’ is just fine, and that’s the best I can say towards the film.
Although, I don’t know how they made a sequel out of this with the film’s resolution. If Derek doesn’t coach his son (since the sequel was 15 years apart) I think I’ll be very disappointed.