You Don't Mess with the Zohan preview

    Everyone loves a good poop joke, and Adam Sandler is known
    by many as the master of the art form. We’ve seen him range from classic fare
    like “Happy Gilmore” and “Big Daddy” to the abortions that were “Little Nicky”
    and “50 First Dates,” but his use of gratuitous slapstick and potty humor has
    largely stayed the same. “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” ups the
    “Airplane”-esque sight gags to an oppressive level, sets Sandler and co. within
    the sensitive confines of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and capitalizes on
    every possible chance to deride Middle Eastern culture in tastelessly easy
    ways.

    It’s like that liberal Hollywood
    circle jerk “American Dreamz” from a few years back; both films are so
    incompetent at the Chappelle technique of universal discrimination that they
    just make the audience feel guilty.

    Sandler’s Zohan is the ultimate Mossad agent, a superhuman
    force in counterterrorism with a bulge that all the Israeli honeys love.
    Secretly, he dreams of becoming a famous hairstylist who will one day use his
    talent to make the whole world “silky smooth.” To escape all the fighting and
    look for a better life in New York City,
    Zohan fakes his death at the hands of his Hezbollah archrival, the Phantom,
    played by John Turturro. Turturro’s character annoys with stilted one-liners
    and cardboard characterization, so if you were expecting the second coming of
    “Lebowski”’s Jesus, prepare for disappointment.

    Once in America,
    Zohan finds Palestinians and Israelis coexisting in relative peace, and even
    befriends a Palestinian hairdresser named Dalia (Emmanuelle Chriqui), who
    employs him at the salon and serves as the comedy’s weak love interest.
    Finally, former-terrorist-turned-cabbie Salim (played by polarizing Rob
    Schneider) spots the metrosex Zohan and vows to take revenge for that one time
    in the desert when Zohan stole his goat (I’m not making this up). The film
    closes with Israelis and Palestinians bonding over their own racial stereotypes
    (hummus, disco dancing, bootleg electronics, more hummus) and joining forces to
    defeat the real enemy, an American redneck named James (an oddly fitting role
    for Dave Matthews).

    Additional cringe-worthy cameos from John McEnroe, Chris
    Rock and Mariah Carey come off as forced and studio-calculated. Having Zohan
    wear Mariah T-shirts for the majority of the film initially seems like a
    harmless character quirk, but actually turns out to be a grand marketing scheme
    for the diva to instruct the audience, straight up, to buy her new album.

    Although Sandler
    penned the script with SNL writer Robert Smigel and comedy moneyhat Judd
    Apatow, “Zohan” feels ’90s primitive when put up against recent genre hits like
    “Superbad” and “Knocked Up.” It offers a few hilarious slow-mo montages of
    geriatric sexual-innuendo-through-haircutting, some “Holy Grail” moments that
    break the fourth wall of absurdity (i.e. using eyeglasses as a hummus spoon)
    and proves that Sandler still has a talent for comedic timing, but we’ve been
    watching the same movie every year since “Billy Madison” in ’95. June 6.

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