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"ZOOLANDER"
(2001) (Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Heavy Minor Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Minor Mild Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Minor Mild Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: As a dimwitted and vain, veteran male model tries to cope with being overshadowed by an upstart rookie in the business, he doesn't realize that he's been earmarked as the patsy in an international fashion conspiracy to assassinate a prime minister.
PLOT:
Derek Zoolander (BEN STILLER) is a dimwitted, but vain model who's been in the business for years and recipient of the Male Model of the Year award for several years running. Thus, when he loses out to Hansel (OWEN WILSON), an upstart and very popular rookie, Zoolander's world is turned upside down. Suddenly realizing that he must have another purpose in life, the model shocks everyone, including Maury Ballstein (JERRY STILLER), his longtime agent, when he announces his retirement.

Yet, when Derek's coal miner father, Larry (JON VOIGHT), rejects his return home, the model returns to the only world he knows. Yet, little does he realize that he's been targeted to be the patsy in an international fashion conspiracy aimed at killing the Malaysian Prime Minister. It seems the ruler has endangered the use of overseas child labor, thus necessitating flamboyant fashion designer Mugatu (WILL FERRELL) to find as assassin.

With the designer's catty assistant, Katinka (MILLA JOVOVICH), watching over him, Zoolander agrees to appear in Mugatu's latest fashion show, not realizing he's been brainwashed to terminate the leader. Time Magazine reporter Matilda Jeffries (CHRISTINE TAYLOR), however, knows something suspicious is occurring and eventually discovers the nefarious plot. From that point on, she and others do what they can to keep Zoolander from carrying out his subconscious order.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or goofy/satirical comedies, they just might, but this one probably won't be very enticing to many preteens.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sexual content and drug references (re-rated on appeal after initially receiving an R rating).
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BEN STILLER plays a vain, but dimwitted male model who finds himself the brainwashed patsy earmarked to assassinate a foreign leader. He falls for Matilda and ends up participating in an apparent orgy with her and others.
  • OWEN WILSON plays a rookie model who's taken the industry by storm. He uses some profanity, makes various references to using drugs, and is also involved in the apparent orgy with Matilda and Zoolander.
  • WILL FERRELL plays a flamboyant and evil fashion designer who sets up Zoolander to assassinate the Malaysian Prime Minister.
  • CHRISTINE TAYLOR plays a reporter hot on the story about Mugatu and the child labor controversy. She eventually helps crack the case and tries to stop Zoolander from killing the Prime Minister (but not before being involved in some sort of orgy with him, Hansel and others). She also uses some profanity.
  • MILLA JOVOVICH plays Mugatu's catty assistant who briefly threatens Matilda.
  • JERRY STILLER plays Zoolander's agent who uses some profanity and conspires with Mugatu.
  • JON VOIGHT plays Zoolander's estranged, coal miner father.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. A non-graphic, comedy-based orgy scene occurs late in the film (and originally caused it to get an R rating which was reduced on appeal) and involves one woman surrounded and apparently being pleasured by a growing number of men (all seen from the shoulders up with pleasured facial expressions). Some non-explicit, sexually related dialogue is also present, as is other sexually related humor (including that involving an obvious erection under a towel after a massage).

    Profanity consists of at least 8 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are present, as is some behavior and goofy faces that some kids might want to imitate. Three major characters drink some sort of tea that has a drug-like effect on them, and one of them makes repeated references to taking drugs off-screen or in the past. A few other characters drink or smoke.

    Violence - all played for laughs - consists of several attempts on others' lives (via gunfire, a throwing star, and a brainwashed assassin) and some standard comedic fighting (punches and kicks). Various characters have bad attitudes, but none of that's meant to be taken seriously either. If you're still worried about the film's appropriateness after that summary, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific information about what's present in the film.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs early on during a photo session where many flashes are going off.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see a brief video clip of Zoolander with some champagne, as well as Hansel acting like he's holding and smoking what's presumably a joint.
  • Zoolander's father, brothers and others drink in a bar.
  • Hansel makes some comment about tripping on acid for the past two weeks.
  • A man has a beer in front of him in Hansel's place, and Hansel, Zoolander and Matilda then drink some sort of powerful tea that has a drug-like effect on them.
  • Hansel tells a story where he wondered if something he was experiencing had to do with him smoking some peyote earlier.
  • Zoolander's dad has a beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Maury standing at something trying to urinate (and complaining about his prostate problem preventing him from doing that), but we don't hear or see anything.
  • Matilda holds a gun on Katinka while sitting on her and then strikes her on the face with it (resulting in a tiny bit of blood from Katinka's lip that the villainess tastes and seems to enjoy).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • As a goofy comedy, none of the following is meant to be viewed or portrayed in a realistic sense.
  • We hear that Mugatu exploits foreign child labor for his own profit and he and others, including Maury and Katinka, plot to kill the Malaysian Prime Minister by brainwashing Zoolander as their lethal weapon.
  • Some could take offense to a comment Zoolander (who's white) makes about the term "brother." He states that he felt like a brother to three men, not in the sense of being their sibling, but the way "black people" mean it (which he thinks is more appropriate). In another scene set in a coal mine, Zoolander suddenly shows up in complete blackface (presumably from the coal, but he seems to have done it on purpose and is hamming it up).
  • Maury grabs a woman's clothed butt as she walks past him in a short, form-fitting dress (as he says something about a "tushy squeeze - but she doesn't seem to mind).
  • Maury tells Matilda that with a push-up bra, she'd have "a nice rack of lamb going on up there."
  • When Matilda opens up and states that she was a fat kid in seventh grade, Zoolander makes a negative sound in response.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • It's possible a few viewers could find the ending of the film - where Zoolander goes into brainwashed mode to kill the Prime Minister - as suspenseful, but it's all played for laughs and in a goofy fashion.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Pistol & Rifle: Seen in brief comical reenactments of John Wilkes Booth shooting President Lincoln and two men on the grassy knoll in Dallas for J.F.K.'s assassination (the first uses the pistol, the second just holds the rifle).
  • Guns: Used by some thugs to fire shots at Matilda, Zoolander and another man (apparently hitting the latter).
  • Handgun: Used by both Katinka and Matilda to threaten the other (Katinka first).
  • Throwing star: Thrown by a villain at another man (but it harms no one).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the sh*t were you talking about?" "Oh sh*t," "Sure as sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "Screw you/him," "It stinks me like a fissure in my ass," "Retards," "Piss," "What the hell is the matter with you?" "Tucas" (rear end), "Farty," "Crack whores," "Stay the hell away," "Shut up," "You can derelict my balls" (a cut-down based on the name of an ad campaign about derelicts that causes Zoolander to respond, "I can dere-lick my own balls"), "Kick Hansel's ass," "Punk ass," "You freaking idiot," "How dope was last night?" and "Bitch."
  • It's possible some kids could be inspired to imitate the goofy looks and actions that some of the characters exhibit.
  • A protestor comes up and throws an egg at Mugatu.
  • Although played all for silly laughs, there's a scene where Zoolander and his friends are cavorting about at a gas station, flinging windshield washer liquid onto each other. We then see them doing the same with gasoline from the hoses (which leads to the inevitable explosion).
  • Maury grabs a woman's clothed butt as she walks past him in a short, form-fitting dress (as he says something about a "tushy squeeze - but she doesn't seem to mind).
  • Maury tells Matilda that with a push-up bra, she'd have "a nice rack of lamb going on up there."
  • During a modeling runway walk-off contest with Zoolander where one contestant must copy and enhance what the other does, Hansel reaches his hand down inside his own pants, moving and jerking it around inside there. He eventually retrieves and removes his underwear, something that Zoolander tries to emulate, but fails.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of playfully suspenseful music occurs in a few scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • During a non-graphic orgy scene, a song with the lyrics, "Love to love you" plays.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 8 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "wiener"), 7 asses, 4 damns, 2 craps, 2 hells, 3 uses each of "For Christ's sakes" and "G-damn" and 1 use of "Dear God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Some female mannequins in the background of a shot show bare breasts.
  • A few women show varying amounts of cleavage throughout the film, while a model late in the film wears what look like long cups over her breasts (like a bra) during a runway show.
  • We briefly see some sort of S&M fashion photo of a man sitting on Zoolander's back and both wearing leather, S&M garb.
  • Maury grabs a woman's clothed butt as she walks past him in a short, form-fitting dress (as he says something about a "tushy squeeze - but she doesn't seem to mind).
  • Maury tells Matilda that with a push-up bra, she'd have "a nice rack of lamb going on up there."
  • We see Zoolander getting a massage, with the rather homely woman then smacking his towel-covered butt. When he rolls over onto his back, we see an obvious erection under the sheet, as does the masseuse. She then takes two tiny broom-like objects and tries to touch the erection, but it moves around under the towel, seemingly trying to avoid being touched.
  • The camera moves around a room, focusing on a woman's clothed butt (in a tight, formfitting dress) as it does so.
  • Zoolander misunderstands Matilda and says that he can't sleep with her, prompting her to say she doesn't want to sleep with him. He then comments on her showing up, wanting sex, and then changing her mind.
  • During a modeling runway walk-off contest with Zoolander where one contestant must copy and enhance what the other does, Hansel reaches his hand down inside his own pants, moving and jerking it around inside there. He eventually retrieves and removes his underwear, something that Zoolander tries to emulate, but fails.
  • We see some headstones/monuments in a cemetery, one that shows male full frontal nudity (in a classic statue pose) and another that shows a stone-based bare butt.
  • After Matilda opens up and states that she was bulimic back in school, Zoolander wonders how that affected her with guys and whether they wanted to "get busy" with her. She then replies that she's not going to discuss her sex life with him and Hansel, and then amends that by saying or the lack thereof. They then ask if she hasn't done "it" in a while, with Hansel wondering if it's been something like eight days. She sheepishly replies that it's been more like a couple of years (causing them to react in shock and ask, "How do you live?"). She then states that she doesn't want to talk about that, but Hansel says that it's been a hard day for all of them and that they should all get naked.
  • They then have some more drug-like tea, with Hansel telling her to give in to the power of the tea. We then see a non-graphic orgy scene (as the song with lyrics "Love to love you" plays) where both shirtless men kiss/nuzzle her shoulders as she has a pleasured expression on her face. As the scene plays for comedy rather than eroticism, we then see more men kissing on her (we see her from the mid-chest up with the small straps of her top still over her shoulders) as they surround her (with Hansel then howling). During all of this, we don't see any other contact, just the pleasured/happy expressions on the participants' faces.
  • The next late afternoon, Matilda finally gets up and comes out into a room where Zoolander comments on her being sandwiched between the two Finnish dwarves the night before (stating that's when he realized he was in love with her). One of the men then jokingly mocks her lack of gratitude about the night before by saying (and putting words into her mouth), "Thanks for the freak-fest last night."
  • SMOKING
  • A few miscellaneous characters smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Zoolander's father isn't happy to see him return home, stating that he's embarrassed by him (and that he's more dead to him than Zoolander's dead mother). He says this after Zoolander states all he wanted was to make him proud.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The fashion/modeling industry and those who are models.
  • Child labor laws, and sweatshops in foreign countries.
  • Although played all for silly laughs, there's a scene where Zoolander and his friends are cavorting about at a gas station, flinging windshield washer liquid onto each other. We then see them doing the same with gasoline from the hoses (which leads to the inevitable explosion).
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the following is played for goofy laughs and not for realism.
  • A protestor comes up and throws an egg at Mugatu.
  • Although played all for silly laughs, there's a scene where Zoolander and his friends are cavorting about at a gas station, flinging gasoline from the hoses onto each other. That leads to the inevitable explosion when one lights a cigarette (and all three are killed, but not graphically).
  • Misunderstanding that a scale model is just that and not the real intended thing, Zoolander violently throws it to the ground.
  • Some thugs throw Matilda out onto the street.
  • Zoolander gets a jolt of electricity to the head during his brainwashing session.
  • A bit of slapstick material has Zoolander suddenly sitting up in a bunk bed and hitting his head.
  • We see a brief comical reenactment of John Wilkes Booth shooting President Lincoln (nothing explicit, and no blood or gore).
  • Some thugs open fire on Matilda, Zoolander and another man in a cemetery, apparently hitting the latter (and injuring him, but we see no wounds or impact).
  • Katinka holds a gun to Matilda's side and moments later punches her in the stomach to silence her.
  • Hansel and a deejay get into a comical fight where various punches and kicks are delivered to the other's body (all played for laughs and no graphic realism), with Hansel getting kicked in the crotch before finally slamming the deejay's head down onto a console and apparently knocking him unconscious.
  • Stupidly thinking that some files are literally hidden inside a computer, Hansel throws it to the floor to break it open (where it's smashed to bits).
  • Matilda holds a gun on Katinka while sitting on her and then strikes her on the face with it (resulting in a tiny bit of blood from Katinka's lip that the villainess tastes and seems to enjoy).
  • Under the control of being brainwashed, Zoolander grabs the Prime Minister around the neck and nearly kills him (until his musical cue stops playing).
  • Mugatu flings a throwing star at the Prime Minister, but it's rendered harmless before it hits anyone. Some bodyguards then tackle him.



  • Reviewed September 25, 2001 / Posted September 28, 2001

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