Male supermodel Derek Zoolander is on his way down after three years of continuously winning the Male Model of the Year award. When he is beaten by the hot newcomer Hansel, Derek starts searching for a new meaning in his life. Just then fashion czar Mugatu offers Derek a comeback in his new "Derelicte"-line. Mugatu's hidden agenda is to assassinate the new Malaysian Prime Minister on his upcoming visit to New York, for hs plans to overhaul child labor laws.

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Derek Zoolander, Ben Stiller, has been voted Male Model of the Year three years in a row - but not this year. Though the not-too-bright Zoolander confidently goes to the podium to accept his award, he`s not the winner, Hansel, Owen Wilson, is the new champ. Never mind, there`s a consolation prize for Zoolander: he receives an offer from top designer Mugatu, Will Ferrell, to wear his latest design line, Derelicte, inspired by homeless street people.

Actually, Mugatu has another agenda: furious because the Malaysian Prime Minister has ordered the closure of the sweatshops where the designer`s pricey threads are made, Mugatu plans to send a brainwashed Zoolander to assassinate Malaysia`s leader.

The assassination theme is an unusually unpleasant and unfunny one, especially at this moment in history. Comedy-thrillers have worked in the past, but the crass treatment Ben Stiller gives this film ensures that only the most undemanding audiences will get much fun out of it.

In fact, Zoolander is a good example of the way American screen comedy has changed in the naughties - there`s a desperation to the humour, as well as a complete lack of style and subtlety. It`s a pity, because the last film Stiller directed, The Cable Guy, was quite interesting, and we know he`s an accomplished comedian. Some of the fashion industry jokes are amusing, but mostly Zoolander is an embarrassment - and you can bet it won`t be screened in Malaysia.