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You Don't Mess With the Zohan

One riotous laugh-out-loud movie.

Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production comes up with a noticeably intelligent comedy, and they definitely didn't hold back on the sex jokes. Zohan Dvir is Israel's modern-day superhero, a counter-terrorist who gets tired of the 2000-year old conflict in the Holy Land and decides to pursue his dream of styling hair in New York City. It may seem like a shallow plot, but it is actually inspired by the famous Arbib brothers, all former Israeli soldiers-turned-hairstylists (they still run the salons Shampoo and Shampoo Too in West Hollywood).

The script's no-holds-barred humor (sexually, politically, and racially) is a result of the comic brilliance of three distinguished comedians today: Sandler, Saturday Night Live writer Robert Smigel, and of course the popular Judd Apatow. But of course, it's the crazy performances of the actors that breathe life into the script.

Adam Sandler plays the Zohan perfectly, in a role tailor-made for him and his Jewish roots. Along with John Turturro as Phantom the terrorist, and joined by Rob Schneider as the cab driver Salim, the three buddies reunite once more, and make comic acting seem effortless (which, to them, it probably is). Nick Swardson is quite funny as Michael, the clueless New Yorker who takes Zohan in, and Emmanuelle Chriqui sizzles the screen as the hairdresser Dhalia. Filipino-American actor Alec Mapa also gets some screen time as the hairstylist Claude.

Speaking cameos abound in this movie, starting with Michael Buffer himself (you'd half-expect him to suddenly shout "Let's get ready to rumble!") as the tycoon Walbridge; the musician Dave Matthews as James; Chris Rock as a Jamaican taxi driver; and the following play themselves: actor Kevin James, tennis great John McEnroe, actor George Takei, and diva Mariah Carey herself.

Again, expect a lot of sex jokes, political jokes, and racist jokes, all tastefully done, and you'd be surprised how many times you'd catch yourself laughing out loud.

Rating: Four stars.


Anonymous said...

i disagree, it's not tastefully done. But then again,that's american comedy for you! i'd give it three stars instead of four.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how much tasteful one can do comedy of this kind. I would say the jokes were delivered the way they were supposed to be at the time they were supposed to be delivered.
I've seen this movie, and I appreciated the fact that the writers didn't so much as shy away from the crude jokes as embraced them fully and made the jokes their own.

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