Kevin's Review: You Don't Mess with the Zohan - Zohan's Crotch, That Is
by Kevin Powers
June 6, 2008
Adam Sandler, certainly known for some grade-A ridiculousness and juvenile humor, has outdone himself in his latest, You Don't Mess with the Zohan. With the typically less-than-funny Jewish-Palestinian hostility as a back story, Sandler, by way of heaps of hummus and a cantaloupe-sized crotch - which, by the way, given it's prominence should have its own credit - delivers comedy the likes of week-old bed-head - strikingly laughably, thoroughly dirty and evidently lazy. Sandler pushes aside more sophisticated Zionist jokes, in favor of, for example, having elderly Charlotte Rae ("Different Strokes") talk about erectile dysfunction. Grannies seem to be the real ones messing (around) with the Zohan.
As an unstoppable Israeli soldier, Zohan and his turrets-like disco dancing is revered the country over. He can catch bullets in his nostrils, leap from buildings and remain unmoved when a piranha is placed in his swim trunks. Yet this Semitic superhero's true passion is to one day cut and style hair - to make "the silky-smooth." Zohan travels to America to pursue his dream, but his past eventually catches up to him.
Fans of Sandler's will love the film. It's the bawdiest of his work - Judd Apatow is one of the writer's - and the most action-packed. It's also completely ridiculous. There's an appreciation upfront for the concept and fun, but the film falls apart towards the end like a bad perm, mainly when John Tuturro, as Zohan's enemy The Phantom, has more screen time. Rob Schneider as a Palestinian cab driver and telemarketer proves a bit flat, as well. Watching Zohan serve in the neighborhood watch, cut his teeth as a beautician and bang senior citizens is the best part of the film, which formulaically is about 15 minutes into the movie and about 20 minutes from the end.
Various cameos help keep the rhythm up, however. Chris Rock, Mariah Carey, George Takei and many, many more familiar faces pop up throughout the film. Why? Who knows. It's a decently entertaining element, especially Dave Matthews' career-worthy role as a hating hick. To the film's credit, Zohan stays far away from trying to insert any forced "can't we all get along" messages pertaining to the opposing countries. But obviously, in a movie like this, things wrap up in a neat, contrived little package. Well, not a little package in Zohan's case.