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You Don't Mess With The Zohan movie poster

You Don't Mess With the Zohan

Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Directed by:
Dennis Dugan
Starring: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan
Released by: Sony Pictures

In Short: Adam Sandler and his movie-making cronies reach a new low with this juvenile comedy that suffers from a serious lack of laughs.
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Where Are the Laughs?
Adam Sandler Stumbles

A
dam Sandler's latest comedy, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, takes 113 minutes to unspool, and every one of them is painfully bad. From the opening sequence, where we learn that Zohan (a buffed-up Sandler, who is also credited with writing the screenplay) is an unstoppable Israeli commando who strikes fear into the hearts of Arab terrorists, to the final cloyingly bad sequence in New York where Jews and Arabs celebrate their similar heritage, this is a film filled with groans, not laughs.

While showing off the "big package" in his pants to any hot girls that will look (that's the unfunny recurring theme of the film) and fighting off bad guys with the flick of a wrist, it would seem that Zohan has it all. But he has a secret dream. Instead of fighting fanatics, Zohan really wants to be a hairstylist. So he fakes his own death in a fight against an Arab terrorist known as the Phantom (John Turturro), and stows away to America and begins a new life in New York City.

Adam Sandler in "You Don't Mess With The Zohan"
Lainie Kazan and Adam Sandler in "You Don't Mess With The Zohan"

That life includes having sex with his zaftig landlady (Lainie Kazan), hitting discos with his newfound Israeli buddy, and getting the chance to cut hair at a Palestinian salon with a gorgeous proprietor (Emmanuelle Chriqui) named Dalia. Zohan's big package comes in handy there, too, as he offers both haircuts and sexual interludes to the salon's older female clientele.

As the plot thickens, with evil developers trying to take over the salon, Jewish-Arab unrest in the neighborhood, and a budding romance with Dalia, You Don't Mess with the Zohan goes from bad to worse. Cornball dialogue, ridiculous plot lines, and a complete lack of laughs leaves the audience shaking their heads as they leave the theater, wondering what happened to the guy who used to make movies that were definitely dumb, but at least had some really funny moments (think The Waterboy or Happy Gilmore).

Reviewed by Jenny Peters



PLH050708 (Updated: 06/06/08 LH)

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