Movie Review: Zoolander

Zoolander. According to my peers during high school, Zoolander was one of the best comedies of all-time. As I look at the trailer now, I see their point. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell? Sounds like a blast.

The concept’s original, centering around the lives of male models and Zoolander’s accent is over-exaggerated but still brings smirks. Stiller tries hard, you have to give him that. Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell though? Not on-screen even close to enough. It’s a pity because this film could have been so much more witty and grin-inducing then it is.

Like most comedies of the last decade and a half, plot is given little thought in the film’s production. The film’s one-liners, timing and obnoxious character traits are the core. While Zoolander’s primary purpose is indirectly stated from the get-go based off the preposterous plot components, the quality of the humor is far too dry for my liking.

Comedies frustrate me because they are oblivious to all of the other important emotions and segments of life, aside from an almost mandatory but always pitiful attempt to pull heart-strings in the intermediate stages. There is more to life than laughing and goofing off.

What about the everyday problems we constantly find ourselves drowning in?

What about the friends that are always taking something you say and reverberating that message to others out of context?

What about the coworkers that continue to make the same irresponsible decisions every day that make your life harder? These are things that are relatable to a lot of people. Why is no one doing routines centered around these things? I’m not a genius and don’t claim to be, but am I the only one that would love to see Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell go to an everyday, blue-collar job and then go to a bar and talk about all the things wrong with their lives? I would love that, having them talk about all the things they’d like to say to their boss but don’t, about all the things they’d like to say to some of their naive friends but don’t.

It wouldn’t be hard to write. You could interview people on the street about their lives, about things they would like to say but don’t and incorporate them in the script if you wanted to. It would be easy money and better entertainment.

The screenwriters for comedies these days are utter trash. They really are. It’s garbage material. You remember the trailer for Tammy? Who, in their right mind, would willingly go see that for any other reason aside from the fact they were a critic or a fan of Melissa McCarthy? You could tell that was a flop from the get-go and I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I read reviews running it through a meat slicer. I’m sure it deserved every ounce of the criticism it got.

The comedic spectrum is one-note and uneducated. It’s unwavering flatness sickens me and is no doubt one of the underlying reasons why I don’t laugh much. Film and television are meant to enliven life and make us smile despite the chaos around us. Movies like Tammy, even to an extent films like Zoolander, make me facepalm and question what I’m doing with my life.

The comedies of today could be graphed on a timeline and doing so would not be the least bit difficult. They’re far too organized, too structured and too blatantly stupid to be entertaining, unless blatant stupidity is what you’re looking for. If you’re fine with these things, then I guess you’re thrilled with Hollywood right now.

Name a comedy that’s significantly impacted you in the comments, and I don’t mean the funniest one you’ve seen. I mean one that you watched and began to have a new outlook on life or at least look at yourself in the mirror and made you re-examine your life. Mine would be Click. Adam Sandler’s last big flick and in my opinion, his best, Click demonstrated the importance of family first and did so while changing genres in the middle of the film to a surprisingly effective and efficient effect.

Try to name another one. I can’t. I can’t think of another comedy that made an impact. That’s sad.

Comedies are not looking for that impact. They’re looking for light-hearted fun and I respect and understand that, but when you don’t deliver on the light-hearted fun, you’ve got nothing. I’ve got no takeaways aside from the fact that the film was a drag and did not need to be viewed and when you have million dollar budgets, big name production companies and comedy’s best actors, there is no excuse for that. None. You’re incompetent and need kicked off the red carpet. Also, I hate you for wasting hours of my life on a continual basis while I continue to trek around cinemas, film stores, and Netflix in the pursuit for a decent comedy. You have all the tools and materials to make another Click, but you continue to settle for the next Tammy. In the words of one of my British friends, sod off.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Gone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of Extinction)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(When the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk DownRed Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the Apes)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The RavenDead SnowRubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (GallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmenClash of the Titans)

My score for Zoolander: 56.

Comedy needs the next big act to step up and redefine the genre like Adam Sandler of the 90’s and early 2000’s. Aside from a three-minute sequence between Stiller, Wilson and Taylor, this film fails to hit on an average level. Stiller and Wilson had sufficient chemistry there but it dissolves in order to stay with the male-model-is-a-trained-killer plot that no one cares about. Distracting and nonessential cameos add to an already short run-time and Ferrell’s left acting like a loony bin in his cumulative ten-minute stand-up.

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