You Don’t Mess with the Zohan
She loves me thaaaat much. Take a hike, Sandler.

Theatrical Release Date: 06/06/2008
Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan, Ido Mosseri, Rob Schneider

Take a tip from the title, “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan”. I’m not speaking about avoiding a physical conflict with the main character because he’s such a badass. No, I’m simply trying to help warn people about the film and how not to toss money away like you’re Thurston Howell the third.

Now, I tend to like Adam Sandler. There are a number of his films that I enjoy very much. However, I’ve realized that the films in which he dons an accent tend to be the worst ones. Compare “Billy Madison” and “Happy Gilmore” to “The Waterboy” or “Little Nicky”. Yeah, you see my point.

In his latest film, Sandler plays Zohan, an Israeli counter-terrorist expert with the skills and physical prowess of a low-end super hero. Not content to catch all the evil-doers of the world anymore, he fakes his own death and heads to New York City to fulfill his dream of becoming a world-class hairstylist. While in the Big Apple, he falls for a Palestinian woman (Emmanuelle Chriqui), helps forge a peace between Arabs and Israelies in the neighborhood, becomes the hottest hairstylist in town and meets Mariah Carey (another sign of a bad film is the presence of Glitter McBoobies herself).

A plot line like that could usually be explained by the combination of Sandler and marijuana. However, he did have help via Judd Apatow and Robert Smigel. Putting these three comedy minds together creates a firestorm of offensive ethnic, gay and sex humor … which doesn’t mean it can’t be funny (and it’s usually tough to offend me). I did laugh here and there but usually kept thinking about how sad it must be to actually adhere to such narrow minded rhetoric.

To no surprise, the acting is relatively non-existent and there isn’t a point in trying to make sense of the script. This is the kind of vehicle that you just strap yourself in for and go along for the ride – don’t try to take the wheel, it’ll only lead to a faster, deadlier crash.

I mean, come on! The bad guy is Michael Buffer. MICHAEL BUFFER! There’s even Dave Matthews playing a racist redneck … which sort of worked actually. But I digress.

There are two bright spots to speak of. First, Emmanuelle Chriqui is gorgeous and at least kept the visual processing center of my brain from atrophying. Second, John Turturro is a comic genius, playing Zohan’s nemesis. His delivery style and willingness to shamelessly ham up his character are consistently hilarious and centering the story about him would have made a much funnier and well-rounded film.

There really isn’t much point in trying to dissect this film to any great detail so let’s just wrap this up, shall we? I thought about giving the film an extra point but I really wouldn’t recommend this to anyone other than the die-hard Adam Sandler fans. If you like the idea of him having sex with old women, crude stereotypes and Mariah Carey, then you should probably be checked for mental illness … that, or you might enjoy this film. I, however, will relegate this to the crappy films pile and am giving “Don’t Mess with the Zohan” a 1 out of 5.

Don’t mess with the Zohan – as I’m sure there’s plenty of ways you can waste your time, energy and money more effectively. Have you thought about getting a collection of Chia pets?