ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Zoolander (2001), PG-13
Analysis Date: September 29, 2001
CAP Score: 54
CAP Influence Density: 1.13

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

ZOOLANDER (PG-13) -- That is, if'n we's looking for them.

As Andy Griffith of Mayberry might say "If'n we look hard enough, we's likely to find bad." I do not want to slight or lessen the aggressive prosecution, "Dead or Alive", of the doers of the vile atrocity on the people in the World Trade Center towers. Though the backdrop of Zoolander is New York City, home of the WTC towers, the makers of Zoolander had no way of knowing that shadow-crawling villainy would topple the twin towers and thousand of lives. And how were the makers to know that using an assassination plot of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, a mostly Muslim country with the twin Petronas Towers, would invoke a parallel with the World Trade Center tragedy? The makers were sensitive and supportive enough to digitally remove the twin towers from the movie but I suspect "if'n we look hard enough, we's likely to find" a glimpse or two of the towers in the distance. That is, if'n we's looking for them. There is plenty of other "bad" in the movie to deal with rather than torture ourselves with looking for things to fuel the fire of raging fury ignited by the alleged thugs of Osama Bin Laden who murdered our friends and relatives and possibly a CAP Board member and good friend in the Pentagon.

Ben Stiller joins his daddy, Jerry Stiller and his wife Anne Meara, Ben's wife Christine Taylor and others in what might be called Stiller Productions. Together, they make a spoof about male models and their alleged moron mentality and top physical condition - a combination that makes them well suited for brainwashing into becoming assassins of world leaders who oppose children in labor camps making clothes. Using child labor to make our clothes is not that far-fetched. Much of what you and your kids are wearing right now may have been made by 3rd world child labor overseas by kids who likely have none of what you are wearing.

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Ben Stiller is Derek Zoolander, the thrice voted top male model of the year. Zoolander is the prince of the male modeling world and is looking forward to a fourth kudo, but that is another subplot. Of several of Derek's "looks" that all look alike, one of Derek's selling looks was his Blue Steel look - a look that made him look like someone just spanked him or gave him an enema.

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Derek had three male model friends at the beginning of the show. They didn't last long. One of the skits in the show had the four of them dueling with gasoline pump hoses at a convenience store. What logic there is in this completely escapes me, but each soon became soaked with gasoline and soon after that someone lights a match. Then Derek's friends were no more. This tragedy almost depresses Derek enough to give up modeling. On top of this crushing blow, Matilda Jeffries (Christine Taylor) of "Time" magazine writes a very derogatory piece about Zoolander
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Intertwined with all this, Zoolander's reign is challenged by Hansel (Owen Wilson). Through a "walk-off", Hansel unseats Zoolander and becomes the new number one male model. A walk-off is a duel of poses and technique. One model would demonstrate a walk up and down the modeling ramp then the other would try to match and top it. And the younger and more viral Hansel defeats Derek by successfully removing his underwear without taking his pants off, a toilet humor move demonstrated as beyond the capabilities of Derek.

Now Derek is convinced he needs to get out of modeling and devote himself to charity for children "who can't read good." However, Derek's agent Maury Ballstein (Jerry Stiller) and his wife (wife, Anne Meara) along with fashion giant, Mugatu (Will Farrel) have other plans for Derek. They plan to launch the new line, "Derelicte" with Derek as the lead model. At least, that is what Maury and Mugatu say.

For years, bad guys around the world had been using male models to do their dirty work since the male models are in tip top shape and are generally of low enough character and intelligence to make them easily manipulated. Mugatu's empire and its financial foundation depend on child labor to manufacture his fashions. The Prime Minister of Malaysia is making moves to limit child labor. So Ballstein and Mugatu implement maneuvers to brainwash Derek into killing the Malaysian Prime Minister. The new Derelicte line is a front for such maneuvers. Though it is rather far-fetched to think a world leader would come to America just to see a new line of clothes, the Derelicte collection is used to draw the prime minister to America so Derek can kill him. I wonder if there is any connection between the poisonous traits of the Mugatu character and the Mugatu creatures on Star Trek's(tm) The Apple? Star Trek's Mugatu are poisonous beasts, one of them nearly killed Kirk.

Mixed in with these subplots at nearly every opportunity is ignominy [James 1:21, 2Pet. 2:18, Ps. 12:8]. Many uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus God's name in vain with and without the four letter expletive [Col. 3:8]. A picture of a homosexual orgy [1Pet. 4:3, 1Cor. 6:9-10]. Vulgar talk [Eph. 5:4], vulgar gestures, and vulgar display such as that of an animated male erection under a sheet [Ezek. 23:27]. Even group sex with hidden nudity [1Pet. 4:3]. Inappropriate touch, bitter rejection of a father by a son [Prov. 20:20], talk of illegal drug use and homosexual suggestion [Rom. 1:26 - 31] complicate the fitness of this 83 minute PG-13 flick. As is typical of PG-13 movies nowadays, the sheer volume of unacceptable behaviors of "lesser offense" give this film an envelope equivalent to a lite R-rated movie, thus an "R-13."


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • James 1:21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
  • 2Pet. 2:18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively extreme vulgar and vile entertainment with impunity] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to willingly embrace it, pay for it].
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • 1Pet. 4:3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do -living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
  • 1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Ezek. 23:27 So I will put a stop to the lewdness [zimmah {zim-maw'} or zammah {zam-maw'}: not chaste, incest, licentiousness, adultery, idolatry, harlotry] and prostitution you began in Egypt. You will not look on these things with longing or remember Egypt anymore. ["Egypt" can be anywhere, including here.]
  • Prov. 20:20 If a man curses his father or mother, his lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.
  • Rom. 1:26 - 31 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Zoolander (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • sexual harassment
  • gunfire to kill
  • beating
  • attempted murder

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 21 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • hatefulness
  • bitter rejection of a father by a son

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • mannequin nudity, detailed
  • vulgar gesture
  • dressing to maximize form and/or skin exposure, male and female
  • vulgar poses and dress
  • inappropriate touching
  • sexual comments, talk, innuendo, some vulgar
  • homosexual suggestion
  • vulgar imagery of animated male erection under a sheet, repeatedly
  • picture of homosexual orgy
  • vulgar art
  • "Life is sex" portraying that immoral sex is acceptable
  • encouraging to participate in immoral sex
  • group sex (nudity hidden)
  • crotch hit
  • sadomasochist suggestion
  • suggestive title of model agency

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • bar/drinking
  • admission of illegal drug use

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • 3 uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and one without
  • mockery of God

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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