Mordechai Jefferson Carver, aka the Hebrew Hammer, is an orthodox Jewish stud who goes on a mission to save Hanukkah. When Santa Claus's evil son Damian is pushed over the edge by his father's liberal policies, he does away with the Christian patriarch. Subsequently stepping into his father's role, Damian launches a campaign to eradicate the Jewish Holiday. The Hammer joins forces with Esther Bloomenbergensteinenthal, the gorgeous and dangerous daughter of the leader of the Jewish Justice League; and his brother-in-arms Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahim, the head of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front, to topple Santa's evil progeny and to save Hanukkah for future generations of Jews. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Adam Goldberg claims that he knew he had to do this movie as soon as he read the line "Shabbat shalom, motherfuckers!" See more »
At the North Pole, right after Santa barricades the door, we see Hammer pointing a gun at Santa. When he racks the slide to chamber a bullet the slide stays back indicating it is unloaded, but when the camera changes angles he's able to shoot the tomato. See more »
I admit a weakness for these types of self-conscious parodies when done well.
For me, that means a mix of riches. First, it has to be brutal. There's no sense in toying with something stupid and at time showing sympathy for that stupidity. All the better if the targets of the thing have some sort of societal proscription.
MASH was funny (when it was) because it treated war like something completely without honor or value. Anything that Mel Brooks does fails the brutality test. He's merely juvenile, and not ashamed to shift perspectives for a giggle.
This is funny because it destroys two boundaries. The most obvious is the Jewish stereotype. Yes, it exists. Yes, like any other group, they identify themselves, quite actively bending their lives, by drifting toward those very characteristics as a matter of definition.
There's a long tradition of stage humor where Jews make fun of themselves and I assert that all these societal parodies spring from it, at least in the US.
But the other bit is ever so clever. What they've built on is a pastiche of blaxploitation movies (and a few others as well). Part of the cleverness is in revealing these things to be even dumber than we readily admit; they take us to extremes we wouldn't otherwise go. Its a bit risky, that.
So we have a triple layer here: Jews making fun of the kind of Jewishness they cling to. All of us making fun of a similar dynamic in blacks that black culture isn't mature enough to disparage. (Though half of Chris Rock's stuff comes close.) And on top of that we get some posturing, not much, but some that rigorously belittles us for being the moviewatchers we are. In recent memory the second Charlies Angels did it best, but there wasn't the delicious edge this has.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
8 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this