Sunday, June 08, 2008


Written by Hombre Divertido

You can mess with the Zohan all you want, but under no circumstances should you ever pay money or spend time on this film.

In my review of Leatherheads I had touted it as the worst movie of the year. Zohan makes Leatherheads look Oscar-worthy. How the brilliant comedic minds of writers Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, and Judd Apatow were able to take such a ripe premise, and spend 113 minutes yielding so few laughs, is in itself quite amazing.

In this disaster Sandler plays the Zohan, a superhuman commando who longs to leave the Middle East for peaceful life in the U.S. as a hair stylist. In a battle with his arch nemesis The Phantom (John Turturro, who continues to take roles that distance himself from a career as an actor), the Zohan manages to fake his death and make his way to America where he does indeed become a hair stylist and more.

There is little else here. The cast is talented, but even the usually funny Rob Schneider is left to chew scenery. Some of the bits would not work regardless as they just go on too long. The scene in which the Zohan is attempting to prove himself at the salon by insuring that no hair ends up on the floor is a perfect example. It is smile-worthy, but is completely overdone. Director Dennis Dugan, whose credits primarily consist of Sandler vehicles or productions, appears to be completely in over his head here, though the ultimate blame has to go to the writers. This material simply isn’t funny.

There are some interesting casting choices as well. Michael Buffer as the rich American trying to tear down the neighborhood where the Zohan now resides has the audience waiting for a “Let’s Get Ready To Crum-ble!” in reference to his career. It is equally disturbing seeing John McEnroe dance with his shirt off, and Mrs. Garrett (Charlotte Rae) from The Facts of Life in a stage of undress. They did manage to make Chris Rock look unfunny, Mariah Carey look stiffer than usual, and give Barry (Ernie from My Three Sons) Livingston a nice role.

On the bright side; the cinematography is pleasant to look at, and the soundtrack is fun.

Young kids may find the physical antics of the Zohan amusing; unfortunately the crude and sexual content should preclude their attendance.

Recommendation: No, No, No! Being tied up and forced to watch Billy Madison and Mr. Deeds on TBS would be more enjoyable than messing with the Zohan again.

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