June 7, 2008

You Don't Mess With The Zohan (2008)

When it comes to the movies of Adam Sandler most people fall into either the love him or hate him categories, there doesn't seem to be all that much middle ground with him at all. Personally I like his style of humour, even if I don't like all of his movies. I thought The Wedding Singer was fantastic, it did a wonderful job of paying homage to, or taking the piss out of, the 80s' (which he does again in this movie). So, chances are if you don't like his movies there probably isn't much chance that You Don't Mess With The Zohan will change that.

In this movie Sandler plays the eponymous Zohan, an Israeli counter terrorist soldier, who for reasons unknown is virtually indestructible; he catches bullets in his nose for example. After fighting the Palestinians for many years he decides that he has had enough and wants to leave for America to be a hairstylist. So, he fakes his death whilst fighting the Palestinian super-terrorist The Phantom (John Turturro), and heads West.

Upon arriving he soon finds out that getting a job, with no experience, is not as easy as he would hope. However, after meeting up with an Israeli admirer, who recognizes him, he lands a job working in a Palestinian salon. Oh my, what comic genius. There he becomes a hit by servicing the clientele, especially the older ladies. That is after he has cut their hair.

The main plot though involves a property tycoon who wants to buy up all the property owned by immigrants, primiarily Israeli and Palestinian, in order to build a super-mall, and will go to any extreme in order to obtain the property.

Oh, and there is a love story thrown in there too.

Basically the entire movie is an excuse to play up to all the racial stereotypes, and fears, of the Middle East, and their inexplicable passion for Mariah Carey, Hackey Sack and Disco music.

Whether you see this movie as racist will no doubt be down to each individual, I just thought it was bloody funny, albeit it a little preachy in places. Politics and religion aside there were plenty of hilarious gags, both visually and in the dialogue. Of course there is the chance that this movie will offend some people, but in this day and age there is always something that offends someone. To me this was just another crude, yet very funny, comedy, even if it isn't very subtle.

There are plenty of familiar faces here too, including Rob Schneider, Henry Winkler and Chris Rock (the latter two in small cameos), as well as other faces who's names escape me, but they seem to turn up in all Sandler's flicks.

Sandler fans will no doubt enjoy this, his detractors will no doubt hate it.

Rating 3 stars (out of 4)

Review by Jude Felton


JD said...

I really like Adam Sandler a lot. And while I thought this much better than some of his recent comedies.
I thought John Turturro was the highlight here.
Excellent review.

Anonymous said...

Adam Sandler tends to do his best work when he stays casual, not trying too hard to be funny or deep, etc.