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  Publicity Stills of
"You Don't Mess With The Zohan"
(Courtesy from Columbia TriStar)

Genre: Comedy
Director: Dennis Dugan
Cast: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Rob Schneider
RunTime: 1 hr 53 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: NC-16 (Sexual Humour)
Official Website: http://www.youdontmesswiththezohan.com/

Opening Day: 19 June 2008


In You Don't Mess With the Zohan, a comedy from screenwriters Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog), and Judd Apatow (Knocked Up), Sandler stars as Zohan, a top Israeli commando who fakes his own death in order to pursue his dream: becoming a hairstylist in New York. Though he wants to put his life of counter-terrorism behind him, he quickly finds that it is not so easy to escape one's roots. As enemies old and new try to take him out, they will all come to learn the same thing: you don't mess with the Zohan.

Movie Review:

Adam Sandler has three persons to thank for in “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan”. Adam Sandler himself, Adam Sandler’s stunt double and Adam Sandler’s artificially enhanced ‘enormous package’.

Allow me to present my case further, Sandler has been in countless of earnest, goody two shoes’ roles for most of his career. “Waterboy”, “Mr Deeds”, “50 First Dates” and “Anger Management” just to name a few. And with “Zohan”, he is attempting something riskier, something which truly shows the naughty side of him. To begin with, he is a hoot with his spot-on Israeli accent and those audiences who are fans of Sandler’s antics will roar with laughter as he opens the movie as an elite commando. The man fights like Superman, swims like Aquaman but hides in his room at night thinking of being a hair stylist while holding his long overdue Paul Mitchell’s catalogue. Against his arch-enemy, a Palestinian agent nicknamed The Phantom (John Turturro), he is practically undefeatable. You got to credit his stunt double for those exaggerating action sequences and with that, it sum ups the tone of the movie. It’s an all-out, nonsensical comedy that has Sandler, Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) and Robert Smigel (SNL) taking up writing duties.

If you still don’t get it, think about those Wong Jing and Stephen Chow’s comedies which were immensely popular in the nineties and eighties. Making fun of the anatomies was so common in those cheaply done HK comedies that most of the lines seem to be regurgitated on the spot. Similarly, the crotch-a-minute gag becomes the centerpiece of this movie when Zohan fakes his death and relocate to New York to answer his calling. With the horny Zohan grinding his ‘enormous package’ up close while styling the hairs of his elderly lady customers, the movie gives a new level to the word ‘dumb’.

After his stint as a Japanese wedding coordinator in last year, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry”, Happy Madison’ regular Rob Schneider continues his offensive trail as a Palestinian cab-driver who is bent on revenging against Zohan after he took away his yes a goat! Nick Swardson who appeared in memorable cameo roles in movies such as “Blades of Glory” also contributes a few laughs as poor Michael who takes in Zohan after they met over a bike accident on the street.

Filled to the brim with too many sexual references, the low crass humour at times is so over the top that I feel bad laughing over it. Take for example a scene involving kicking the house cat. Cat lovers might not take too kindly over the actions although it’s just a dummy cat substituting for the real one but still it’s not a very good example for the kids. The cast seems to be having lots of fun improvising the dialogue and nearly everyone speaks with a weird accent with the exception of Michael. You simply can’t think straight when you are surrounded by amused audience in the preview hall.

The sensitiveness of the Israel-Palestinians political issue won’t be much of a concern given the absurdness of the plot. Heck, despite the writers’ good intention to conceal some deeper message towards the end, I’m afraid the audience will remember more of Zohan’s offensive package than anything else.

Movie Rating:

(Just let yourself go and lap up Sandler’s humour for once)

Review by Linus Tee


. Semi-Pro (2008)

. Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo (2008)

. I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)

. Balls of Fury (2007)

. Blades of Glory (2007)

. Click (2006)

. Grandma's Boy (2006)

. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005)

. The Longest Yard (2005)

. Spanglish (2004)

, Reign Over Me DVD (2007)


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