There is silence as the room falls to darkness, two spotlights falling on the red velvet curtains at the top of the runway. With a dramatic sweep to one side, out comes Derek Zoolander, his hands 80’s style in his Valentino pockets. Dressed in a blue glittering tuxedo, his spikey hair pointing to the heavens, he smiles at all the beautiful people in the front row. But there’s a look of uncertainty in his eyes. Has he waited too long for his comeback, having spent 15 years in the wilderness of Northern New Jersey? His dark eyes dart to his left. The other circle remains empty, a solo channel of light, awaiting its conqueror. A red suited hand slinks out between the curtains like a burlesque dancer, his index finger curling an invitation to the audience. It disappears back inside, teasing them and reappears holding a sign that says, WARNING! I MAY BE TOO HOT. AVERT YOUR EYES LEST THEY MAY BE BURNED IN YOUR SOCKETS BY MY ASS! The crowd goes wild and Zoolander’s heart sinks a notch. He skirts a look behind him to his own still gorgeous and fashion ready rear and thinks, NO DEREK, YOU’VE GOT THIS!
The music starts, the familiar thump of Michael Jackson’s Beat It and Zoolander’s confidence soars. Even without Hansel, who’s meditating on a higher plane, he knows he can do this and beat a guy who’s so ugly he has to wear a mask. Poor dude! This is the walk-off to end all walk-offs and Zoolander hits the beat first, ignoring Deadpool, who’s just flung a little white fluffy unicorn into the audience and disappeared again. Derek starts with Le Tigre, his features melting into the pose, smizing eyes and pouting lips as he moves stealthily down the catwalk. Oh how he’s missed this. He dazzles Blue Steel at Katie Perry and Susan Sarandon, who give him a huge thumbs up. Seated behind them, wearing dark glasses, Benedict Cumberbatch nods and smirks at him, a secret weapon ready at any moment to spring into the fray as Mugatu sits in diamond studded shackles, willing Derek to failure.
The big question for those seated here tonight is does Zoolander have something new to offer? As loveable and drop dead ridiculously good-looking as he is, the answer is eh, em, not really. Now that’s okay in some circles because now and again the world needs a little Zoolander magic to leave you with a silly smile on your face. But the crowd aren’t smiling, half as much as they are enjoying him as a piece of strutting nostalgia. Even Mugatu looks a little bored. Keifer Sutherland elbows him to pay attention but it’s too late. He has caught Deadpool’s unicorn, his eyes transfixed as the curtain finally drops. That Deadpool, he’s so hot right now, he quips as Deadpool comes out guns at the ready. The music changes to the thudding ‘X Gona’ Give It To Ya’ courtesy of DMX and he somersaults through the air, catching up with Derek who tries to do the same, spinning face first off the catwalk, into the bosoms of Penelope Cruz. Luckily Billy Zane is there to graciously dust him off and help him back up.
Deadpool’s suit, inhabited by God’s Perfect Idiot is quite the fashion statement. Handmade in gorgeous red and black, it’s a snug fit and half the audience bemoans the fitness regime that goes into looking that trim. He was right about his ass they think. A few Zoolander fans tweet nasty comments – the suit’s a bit grubby and has seen better days. Spotting his nemesis Ajax (the English villain) in the audience, Deadpool draws his gun leaping through the air, as bullet after bullet hiss through the perfumed ether. The head of the lady sitting beside Ajax explodes, brain spatter everywhere, outfits ruined. Derek’s face turns pea green and he swiftly vomits over the side, narrowly missing Anna Wintour, recovering his Blue Steel quickly. He will not be outdone. While half the audience have scarpered on Deadpool’s side, the other half, teenage boys mostly stay in their seats, guffawing wildly and clapping their hands. Deadpool jokes about his aim and they love him for it. He also curses a lot, some for impact but mostly for fun but once again Mugatu is bored. Is that all he has? Is that it? Some brain matter has made its way into his coiffed do and he swiftly orders his assistant Todd, to pick it out. Todd is honoured.
Meanwhile Ajax makes a run for it, grabbing Deadpool’s baby mama who’s come to support her man. Deadpool sure does love that girl. He has a sex montage in his film to prove it. Yep, she’s a keeper and they are well matched. So naturally he’s gonna look to get her back. Plot done and dusted. Oh and Ajax also turned him into the ‘pepperoni flatbread’ that he resembles beneath his mask. More of the audience are fleeing for their lives, disappointed that Deadpool in the flesh is a bit of a let-down, literally all mouth and no trousers while the Zoolander fans are already taking selfies and looking to download the trailer for the next Will Ferrell comedy. Preferably without Mark Wahlberg.
Where did it go so horribly wrong for both? Deadpool was going to string those other clean-livin’ Marvel superheroes up by the cojones, right? Nevermind, he’ll still slash the box office at least until normal folk decide he’s not worth it and all the best bits are in the trailer. And Zoolander, oh Derek, you made people wait til now and realising that there’s little or no fun in fashion anymore, turned your movie into some sort of Austin Powers caper that missed the mark.
Neither gentlemen it seems is at their best. Derek looks forlorn as he strides into his final end of catwalk pose, trying to muster the courage inside to bring his Magnum before it’s too late. The smell of dried blood and bodily fluids from the masked superhero is making his nose wrinkle as Deadpool slinks into his pose, one hand on an extended hip, the other behind his head like Betty Boop. He couldn’t care less about the result. There are a bunch of @#&%£$~# anyway. He gets up in Derek’s face. I just got my sequel greenlit he says. Took ten minutes. Suck on that Zoolander! With that he springs off the end of the catwalk after his girl, his teenage legion hot on his heels.
Left alone, Zoolander fires his Magnum at the crowd but it’s too late. Everyone has left, except for Billy Zane.