Reel Shorts | Don’t Mess With the Zohan

6 06 2008

Outside of producer/director Judd Apatow, nobody can make a rude, crass movie like Adam Sandler. But unlike Apatow who has produced several of the funniest films released in the last several years, Sandler’s humor is not necessarily funny, just sophomoric – which brings us to his latest, the uneven comedy, “Don’t Mess With the Zohan.”

Many of Sandler’s films are based on his fantasies and his latest one is a stunna! He stars as Israeli super spy and killer, Zohan, Mossad’s go-to-guy to eliminate all enemies. Although he is tailor made and very good at his job, the super spy has grown tired of fighting evil and harbors a secret passion – to become a hair stylist. He confides in his parents, who laugh uncontrollably and accuses him of being a “fagula.” Undeterred, Zohan secretly pines for a different life while looking through Paul Mitchell hair magazines.

As the film begins, Zohan is on vacation, hanging with the ladies and his “hype man” who continually tells anyone who is listening that “you don’t mess with the Zohan!” Soon, a nude Zohan (don’t ask) is summoned for one more mission to take down the dreaded archenemy, The Phantom (John Turturro). Having already dispatched of the Phantom earlier, Zohan discovers that he was freed on a “technicality.” But Zohan has a plan to get out of the game and he uses the opportunity to flee after a dynamic battle with his number one enemy.

After faking his death, Zohan makes like Eddie Murphy and comes to America to start his new life. In addition to his unorthodox occupation, Zohan has other issues – that he is stuck in a 1970s time warp. He is a walking caricature of crass Middle Eastern stereotypes and snickering vulgarity that loves disco music and fancies himself as a modern day Warren Beatty from “Shampoo.”

Rocking a Wham! -inspired haircut and a having a propensity for knockin’ boots with his elderly women, Zohan finds employment at a small salon run by the sweet, yet blank, Dalia (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a Palestinian woman with no patience for Zohan’s sexism. As can be predicted, despite their antagonistic relationship, they soon are yearning to “make the bam-boom”. Their unlikely love story intermingles with a laugh-free subplot featuring Zohan’s nemesis the Phantom and a hapless Arab cabdriver (Rob Schneider), who ineptly plans murder attempts while calling the Hezbollah hot line for assistance.

In a strange way, you have to give Sandler credit because clearly he is not afraid to lampoon almost anything in the name of humor. Speaking of “DMWTZ’s” humor, much of it is not really funny but outrageous. Too many times, his attempts to derive humor from obvious stereotypical situations comes across as an idea that works as joke at a small party as opposed to putting it on the big screen in a major motion picture.

After a promising beginning, “DMWTZ” quickly begins to deteriorate and the film jumps the track. Sandler’s Zohan is his ultimate fantasy role that allows him to beat the bad guys, have sex with senior citizens, follow his dream – and get the girl at the end. Ultimately “DMWTZ” is a silly sophomoric tale that finds Sandler, and his character, stuck in a comedic time warp.

Grade: C



2 responses

29 06 2008
the outsiders movie

[…] films released in the last several years, Sandler??s humor is not necessarily funny, just sophomor Outsider 2002 – Movie Info – Yahoo! MoviesThe Outsider 2002: find the latest news, photos and […]

11 07 2008
Starship Blooper | Meet Dave « FilmGordon

[…] is not an accident or coincidence that four, “Semi-Pro,” “Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” “The Love Guru” and “Meet Dave” of the worst films of the year have […]

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