classic movies

‘Zoolander’, the ultimate really, really, ridiculously great dumb comedy

Ahead of the sequel in February, take a second look at the 2001 comedy featuring the comic talents of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

It’s no shocker that the trailer of Zoolander 2 has notched up so many views on YouTube. The sequel of the hit comedy Zoolander (2001) comes with a cast as incredible as the original. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are recruited by the Interpol to investigate a series of assassinations, and they are joined in their efforts by former swimsuit model Penelope Cruz. Together they are fighting to stop the “world’s most beautiful people” from being killed. And while the movie has been attacked for Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of a transgendered person, the fact to remember is that Zoolander has always been about parodying a trend or an obvious stereotype.

The sequel will be released on February 12 in the United States of America. It could easily be as funny as the original or a disappointment like so many other sequels. Either way, the trailer and posters are reasons enough to revisit the comic brilliance of Zoolander.


Zoolander tells the story of a male model who may not be the smartest cookie in the jar but is blessed with a perfect bone structure. Having been the biggest deal in the fashion industry for a long time now, Derek Zoolander (Stiller) is now almost past his prime. He is being overthrown by the angel-winged, tea-sipping rising star Hansel (Wilson), who is “so hot right now”.

When Derek loses the title of VH1’s Male Model of the Year and three of his roommates to a “freak gasoline fight accident”, he has an epiphany and is suddenly “pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking.” He decides to go back home but is rejected by his tough coal miner father, who is embarrassed by a commercial in which his son is dressed like a mermaid (sorry Derek, it’s merMAN), and obviously annoyed at Derek’s suspicions that he might be getting the black lung one day into the job.

Hurt and vulnerable, Derek returns to New York City and is instantly hired as the headliner for a new line by Jacobim Mugato (Will Ferrell), called Derelicte. But there is more than meets the runway here. It’s not just a fashion show, it’s an assassination.

Derek and Hansel are joined by a journalist, Matilda (Christine Taylor), whose obvious dislike for everything ‘fashion’ stems from the fact that she was once bulimic. As Derek deduces from that, she can read minds.

The movie is full of brilliantly dumb jokes. From Stiller’s trademark Blue Steel to David Duchovny’s Glass Dome, the gags are unique and the dialogue is still memorable 15 years later. The movie is studded with star cameos by over 40 celebrities, including Gwen Stefani, Billy Zane, Natalie Portman, Vince Vaughn, Jon Voight, Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham, Cuba Gooding Jr and Donald Trump. There is also David Bowie in here. The incredible David Bowie. And that is always a good thing.

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To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.