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3% Body Fat, 1% Brain Activity. 

Year: 2001 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Ben Stiller 
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor and Will Ferrell.  
An image from Zoolander

When 3-Time ‘VH1 Model of The Year’ Award Winner Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) is beaten by upstart and so-hot-right-now Hansel (Owen Wilson) he thinks his career is over. To add insult to injury, Time magazine journalist Matilda Jefferies (Christine Taylor) labels him an idiot and he is disowned by his family; all before Derek can unleash his new look ‘Magnum’. Whilst he ponders if there’s more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good-looking, fashion mogul Mugatu (Will Ferrell) hatches an elaborate plan to prevent the newly elected Prime Minister of Malaysia from eliminating child labour, and his first step is to hire Derek as the face of Derelicte…

‘Zoolander’ is a hilarious and ridiculous attack on the fashion industry with outlandish characters, a convoluted and absurd plot and some fantastic performances from stars Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell. This is an eminently quotable comedy with hilarious one-liners and a cast boasting cameos from David Bowie, Jon Voight and Gwen Stefani among others. Horribly underrated on its original release, ‘Zoolander’ showcases some of the best comic performers Hollywood has to offer, including Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, and for fans of comedy in the vein of ‘Dodgeball’ and ‘Anchorman’ this is unmissable!

Laura Potter

Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) is the world's greatest male model. He's ready to claim his fourth 'Model of the Year' award - but upstart newcomer Hansel (Owen Wilson) wins instead! Adding insult to injury, Time magazine publishes a not-very-complementary article. After his three best friends are killed in a 'freak' gasoline fight accident, Derek decides he's had enough and quits modelling, intending to devote his life to charitable works, the first of which will be the Derek Zoolander School for Kids Who Can't Read Good.

The call of he catwalk is too strong, though, and Derek agrees to model for designer Mugatu's new 'Derelicte' collection. Little does he know that Mugatu doesn't want a pretty face, but a simpleton to brainwash into assassinating the president of Malaysia...

The 'stupid-funny' movie is big at the moment - think Austin Powers, the Farrelly Brothers, Scary Movie. Is there really room for another spoof character? Fortunately, Derek Zoolander can hold his own, thanks to Stiller's near-perfect comic sense. As well as acting, he directs, having honed his skills on Reality Bites and The Cable Guy, and he even co-wrote the screenplay.

This is not just a long sketch from 'The Ben Stiller Show', though: as the vacuous Hansel, the scruffy, extreme sports-loving nemesis to ultra-slick Zoolander, Wilson is obviously having a great time. Only Christine Taylor, as the film's love-interest and sole intelligent person, has a thankless role, and even she looks like she's trying not to laugh most of the time.

The plot is thin and silly, but it really is just an excuse for a collection of some priceless comic moments: the walk-off - the male model version of a Wild West gunfight, overseen by David Bowie - Hansel's breakdance fight, and David Duchovny explaining how the fashion industry has been behind every major political assassination for two hundred years. Blink-and-you'll-miss them cameos, dozens of them, fill the film providing 'Spot the Celeb' fun for lovers of film and fashion.

Zoolander is never going to win any awards, but that's because the Oscars don't have a 'Best Stupid-Funny Film' category. As it is, Zoolander provides an hour and a half of laugh-out-loud fun. What more could you want?

Augusta Ballinger

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Screenings of this film:

2001/2002 Summer Term (35mm)
2001/2002 Summer Term (35mm)
2001/2002 Summer Term (35mm)
2014/2015 Spring Term (35mm)
2014/2015 Spring Term (35mm)