YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN: Hair's Sandler!
YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN (comedy)
Cast: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan and Rob Schneider
Director: Dennis Dugan
Time: 103 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? The big deal is that this may be the biggest promotion for the Paul Mitchell haircare franchise we have ever seen. We just wonder how much money the company paid for this promo! Other than that, it's just another Adam Sandler movie that seems to have been rewritten from one of his Saturday Night Live shows. Why, it even has his 'buddy' Rob Schneider in a minor role, celebrity guests stars like Star Trek's George Takei and tennis great John McEnroe, and even guest singer Mariah Carey.
However, if you expect daring and irreverrent SNL stuff, just consider our Censors. Still, there's anything really daring or outrageously funny about this Zohan. You just get to see Sandler in a great hairstyle...
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? Sandler is Zohan, a hot-shot Israeli anti-terrorist agent who is so cool wiping out his enemies and so popular with the girls that he puts James Bond to shame. However, Zohan has a secret ambition: he wants to move to New York and become a hairstylist. He's fed up of fighting the Palestinians and just wants to live in peace where he can enjoy 'hummus' and make everyone's hair silky smooth. An encounter with his archenemy, The Phantom (John Turturro), allows Zohan to fake his own death and escapes to New York where he changes his look and name (to Scrappy Coco).
One thing leads to another and he ends up working for a Palestinian hairdresser named Dalia (Emmanuelle Chriqui) as a sweeper. However, his sexy overtures with the elderly female customers soon turn him into a star hairstylist - and later, he has to contend with a land tycoon (Michael Buffer) who wants to take over the entire block of shops run by Jews and Palestinians.
HITS & MISSES: Right from the start, we see Sandler's Zohan as a cartoonish character performing ridiculous and infantile stunts that mysteriously attract hordes of Israeli women. The pace slows down when he gets to New York and we get more gags on the bad blood between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the US. Schneider plays a terrorist cab driver who recognises Zohan and wants to benefit from his 'discovery'. He doesn't get any laughs here and the romance between Zohan and Dalia is so predictable that we can see it a mile away.
The problem is director Dennis Dugan must have expected us to see this coming - and has not bothered to explain how a level-headed woman like Dalia can fall for a goofball who 'bangs' all the old ladies in her salon. Carey, McEnroe and Chris Rock add nothing to the comedy except their faces.
THE LOWDOWN: It is apparent that Sandler tries hard at this Zohan. Trouble is, it is not funny enough.