Zohan Could Use A Trim

October 13, 2008

You Don’t Mess With The Zohan (2008)
d. Dennis Dugan 

Not as funny as I expected, but still enough laugh-out loud bits to carry me through the end. Zohan tells the story of the title character’s pursuit of a life away from the military and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a hair-stylist, but his past catches up with him.

Here’s Hummous In Your Eye

Here’s Hummous In Your Eye

The movie repositions the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a local neighborhood community fighting off the greedy corporate mall-builders and landlords. It’s the same argument more successfully posited in Be Kind, Rewind, though here it also argues that faith-based bigotry and hatred can be overcome in such a community.

There are a lot of running gags involving hummous and the over-sexed Zohan shtupping elderly ladies (in this regard it is quite subversive even while mining the situation for laughs) that overstay their welcome. And then there are running gags that involve hackey-sack, ping-pong and Mariah Carey which, I’m certain, may be a cultural thing that I didn’t find that funny. The soundtrack displays Sandler’s love of 80s music and there are some funny cameos in unexpected corners — Dave Matthews, anyone?

I still think the Wedding Singer is Sandler’s best effort, balancing a healthy dose of laughs with a genuine and heartfelt romance. Here I don’t really feel that the chemistry between Sandler and the exceptionally hot Emanuelle Chriqui works as well as it did between him and Drew Barrymore.

John Turturro continues to pay the bills with this film, though he does get in some funny bits as a Palestinian terrorist/owner of a kebab franchise.

Overall, quite harmless, some good laughs, but nothing new. Two stars.

Next up, I should be resuming my Halloween marathon with Halloween 4.

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