Directed By: Dennis Dugan
Written By: Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel
Starring: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Dave Matthews, Mariah Carey
Running Time: 113 min.
Rated PG-13 Crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity
2.5 out of 5 stars
You Don’t Mess with the Zohan starts with a premise that at least feels original, even if it’s not: Sandler plays the title character, who’s been christened with a definite article because he’s a famously unstoppable killing machine in the Israeli army’s counterterrorist unit. He yearns for civilian life, however—specifically, he wants to be a hairstylist. Faking his own death, he escapes to a Middle Eastern neighborhood in New York City, where he attempts to learn this new trade. He has to claw his way up from the bottom, though—starting as a broom boy. Oh, and some Arab terrorists spot him and want to kill him. Oh, and some businessmen want to buy the neighborhood and turn it into a mall, so they’re trying to incite racial violence between the Arabs and the Jews. Oh, and Zohan has to convince his Palestinian boss Dalia (Emmanuelle Chriqui) to go out with him. And there’s probably some other stuff happening as well.
1. An extended Rocky sequence that involves John Turturro beating up a live cow.
2. The Zohan, calmly discussing the complex issues of who owns the Holy Land with Palestinian terrorists he is simultaneously beating the snot out of.
3. Evidently, Hezbollah has a “Terrorist Supply Hotline.” Do I need to say anything else?
4. Some of the best surrealistic slapstick I’ve seen in a long time. Even for an Adam Sandler flick.
5. Mariah Carey, being funny. On purpose. (“I love you too, horny little man! Buy my albums!”) I’d say this could finally be her big comeback…if her latest album didn’t suck so much.
6. Dave Matthews. Just…Dave Matthews.