On a whim this past Saturday, the Witt-Weggers stepped out and caught another of the big summer blockbusters--one which I really hadn't factored in, when I ran down my big-ol'-list earlier in the summer. As such, here's my review of Adam Sandler's You Don't Mess With The Zohan:
Imainge if you will, the most farcical face of a Rambo flick you can possibly farce your way through. Now add in about 16 gay jokes and the additude of the immortal Charlie SheenHot Shots! (or, for that matter, its even better sequel Hot Shots! Part Deux!). Wrap those into a thinly veneered Israeli-Palestinian conflict and you have You Don't Mess With The Zohan: Adam Sandler's latest self-produced comedy vehicle.
Sandler stars as The Zohan, an Israeli counter-terrorist who's about two points away from being Neo in terms of impossible stunts. Within the first 5 minutes, The Zohan's already catching bullets in his nostrils and playing ping-pong with hand grenades against his newly released nemesis, the Palestinian "Phantom".
However, The Zohan isn't satisfied with the life of a sex-crazed kill machine--all he wants to do is style hair, as he cries alone in his room, clutching his 1980s Paul Mitchell catelogue like a pre-teen journal. Faking his own death, Zohan escapes off to New York City, in the hopes to achieve his dream.
The action centers around Zohan's escapades in a Middle-Eastern NYC neighborhood, as he works in a Palestinian salon for Dalia (the absolutely gorgeous Emmanuelle Chriqui). However, his secret identity is soon revealed, and his Palestinian foes come calling. However, as both ethnic groups are being forced out of the neighborhood by a wealthy industrialist, they must find a way to join forces against him, in order to keep their businesses afloat.
Let me be nice and blunt for a moment. ...Zohan is not a movie that you could possibly go into seriously. It's Zoolander meets Hot Shots!, and is absolutely absurd. The special effects are cheesy, the running gags are continual (just look for all the hummus!), and the bad accents are everywhere.
That said, ...Zohan is absolutely hilarious. The writing snaps and pops, put forward by Sandler himself, Judd Apatow, and SNL writer Robert Smigel. The dialogue is rife with constant gags and one-liners, which keep you laughing throughout the duration. That's a good thing, because ...Zohan runs for a solid 2 hours--it's long for a comedy, but it works.
The biggest difficulty with ...Zohan is the fact that it takes no risks. There's nothing here that we haven't seen before--how many times already have I mentioned other movies? It's funny, which means it set out what it was meant to do, but it really isn't that groundbreaking. Even the casting shows this, as Adam Sandler strings along Rob Schneider for another go-round. Schneider, predictably, is a lull in the laughing.
All in all, ...Zohan is a good movie, and worth a rental, but I'm kind of glad that I didn't pay for my ticket. Hang onto your ticket money, and catch it on DVD.