Mega Fan vs Giant Cynic: Ben Stiller

With Zoolander’s return to cinemas this week, Helen Daly and Errol Kerr are our mega fan and giant cynic of Ben Stiller - who will win this round?

Helen Daly
22nd February 2016

Mega Fan

Ialways consider Ben Stiller as having one of those names that you see on a movie poster and think, ‘yeah, that’ll be alright’. Starring in comedy classics such as the ‘Focker’ trilogy, Tropic Thunder, and of course, Zoolander, Stiller is a comedy actor who is versatile. You see comedy actors like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, to an extent, and whilst they’re good at what they do, they always seem to play the same character in every film. Stiller has proven time and time again that his comedy is versatile, going from lovable dad, Greg Focker, to lovable (in more of a love-to-hate kind of way) high fashion model, Derek Zoolander, Stiller is almost always involved in the best comedy films of the past twenty years, even bagging a guest appearance in Anchorman. To paraphrase Derek Zoolander, to me, Stiller is a really, really, ridiculously good comedy actor in today’s cinema.

Helen Daly

Giant Cynic

I’d rather watch a night of paint drying than spend a Night at the Museum with this guy. When not wringing out every possible sale from an endless childrens’ franchise, he spends his time being painfully and endlessly offensive. Zoolander’s humour was outdated and offensive when it was released and still isn’t much better than the second unnecessary instalment – I was stone-faced watching both. Steel-faced, even. And not the blue kind. Then came the disastrous Tropic Thunder, which he directed and starred in. That just crosses the border entirely, with unnecessary use of blackface and portrayal of autism as a method to, hang on, what was it – “satirise method acting”? There’s no way that’s not plain absurd. His child humour is overused and boring, and his offensive adult *humour* seems more applicable in the early 20th century, not today. And don’t excuse it as satire, because that’s the worst possible excuse.

Errol Kerr

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