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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I walked into the theater with my brain shut off. And if you enjoy Adam
Sandler, you have to. If you go by typical standards, all of Adam
Sandler's movies are absolute garbage. But yet people still love them,
I am one of them.
I went into this looking to have fun watching a movie, and I did. Yes, it was ridiculous in every possible way, but it was pretty much exactly what I was paying to see, Adam Sandler's sense of humor running rampant with all of his friends holding down bit parts.
If you are looking for a high quality, well thought-out story with twists and turns and an ending that ties it all together and leaves you walking out of the theater satisfied, look elsewhere.
But if you aren't easily offended and are a fan of Adam Sandler's work, then you'll have fun with the silky smooth goodness that Zohan brings to the table.
While I've never been a -huge- fan of Adam Sandler's films, I have
watched them and laughed throughout most of them. I'm the type of guy
who enjoys some slapstick, some raunchy humor, and a lot of zanyness.
I went into Zohan not expecting anything but pure frivolous humor. You don't go into films like this with any expectations, and I think that's where a lot of the reviewers prior to myself went wrong. They went in expecting to see an evolution of Sandler's humor, and while I would say that Zohan raised the bar a tad, it's still Adam Sandler. Yes, it's going to have a corny ending, a lot of physical humor, and a healthy dose of humor aimed at the more intelligent in the crowd as well.
Overall, I couldn't stop giggling, laughing, and chuckling throughout most of the film. After a long streak of not seeing any humor films, I thought it was the perfect thing to bring me back to comedies. The last few years, especially, have been incredibly lackluster in regards to comedies (if that's what evolution of the genre is, count me out, by the way), and I found Zohan refreshing.
I think another thing a lot of the other reviewers missed, is that the film in no way expected to take itself seriously. The only serious moments were cheesy, predictable, and ultimately corny, which is irony in itself and only contributed to my bemused chuckling. Yes, a lot of the humor bordered on racial stereotyping, there were a lot of over-the-top accents and allusions to the Middle East, so if you're the type to get touchy about that, feel free to skip. I found it to be a rather hilarious joke on the seriousness that everybody applies to the stereotyping. The stereotyping is, actually, rather fair and towards the end even shows plenty of "good stereotyping" (as accurate as stereotyping ever is, which is to say, rarely).
Really, the film laughs at itself. Are there some bum moments? Certainly, but it seems that's been the case for almost every film I've seen in the last few years, but it was grand seeing the cast and crew not try to make this the 'next great comedy' and just have a buttload of fun.
And if the cast and crew are laughing at themselves (which you can clearly feel through the screen), you can't help but laugh with them.
If you want to spend an hour or two snickering and have an open mind, give Zohan a shot. Don't expect an evolution of comedy. Don't expect the bar to be raised, because that's not what this film was trying to do. It was trying to be ridiculous and make people utter that ever so fantastic groaning-giggle followed by the heart chuckle.
Don't let the other critics fool you, they've probably forgotten the meaning of the word 'satire'.
The critics are out in full force and tearing this movie a new one. I
can understand some of the criticism, it's a brainless comedy chop full
of cliché jokes, stereotypes, crude toilet humor, so it's to be
expected that it's going to receive a lot of negativity.
With that said, that's exactly why I loved this movie so much. I'm a movie buff, have over 2,000 DVDs in my collection. I love virtually every movie genre there is. So, I knew full well what I was getting myself into before I paid my ten dollars and a Coke the size of Zohan's crotch.
What I loved about this movie so much, was that the jokes never stopped coming. I've watched all of Sandlers movies, many of them have long breaks of nothing much to get in stitches about. Sandler is the type of actor that I look to for this sort of humor. When you're having a bad day and want to watch a brainless, popcorn flick that will most likely have you cracking up virtually the entire movie, then I suggest you see this movie as soon as possible.
This is another reason why I love Sandler so much. He's not afraid to push the envelope to garner a laugh. He knows he's capable of doing a more serious role and have success. I know how good he was in Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me, but he's very versatile and I can't complain about an actor with that quality.
I gave this a 7 out of 10, I'm not afraid to admit that I liked the Zohan.., and I certainly wouldn't mess with him!
Look folks, this is ADAM SANDLER we're talking about here. Yes, this is
the same stuff that he was doing ten years ago with "The Waterboy."
Yes, this is the same company that brought us "Happy Gilmore" and
"Click." And yes, while I have aged a bit since I could appreciate the
his silliness, there is still a part of me that enjoys the goofy fun
that Adam Sandler likes to put on screen. I knew very well coming in to
the 7:45 showing of "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" that this was going
to be crazy. And sure enough, it was. But you know what, I liked it, my
friend liked it, quite a few people in the audience liked it, it was a
good time had.
Adam Sandler loves to put himself in ridiculous situations. In "Gilmore," he was a hockey nut with a hidden talent for golf. In "Mr. Deeds," he became a billionaire overnight. This guy has played football (twice), gone on fifty first dates, paused and sped up his life, and married Kevin James. Now, he's an Isreali counter-terrorist with a fetish for cutting hair. Oh, and he loves making sexual remarks as much as Borat does. Sound familiar? Thought it did.
So how does the humor compare to previous Sandler features? Well, it's unfocused. Part of the problem is that three writers with different mentalities are writing the script. The silliness comes from Sandler, the raunchy stuff comes from Apatow, and everything else comes from Smigel. Although I found myself laughing at quite a few parts (particularly when the Zohan was on the job as a soldier), there were also a lot of parts where I was thinking to myself "Come on. Another shot of the crotch?" (Or butt, or some other sexual reference) All of these various ingredients have been thrown in together, and the end result is, let's face it, uneven.
But though the movie may have lacked focus, I couldn't help but have fun with it. You see, unlike "Mr. Deeds" (which I found boring and lame), this film goes whole hog. Sandler and the cast surrounding him do almost everything in their power to make a joke out of something. These guys aren't sleepwalking through their roles, to the contrary, they're having a great time putting on a show. It's contagious. About halfway through the movie, I began to realize the reason I was having fun with the "Zohan" was because this movie essentially gives out an open invitation to enjoy the silliness that was being presented. By the end of the movie, Sandler had done the most outrageous acts I had seen him do since "Happy Gilmore." And frankly, I think I prefer Sandler when he just tries everything.
Fans of Sandler will most likely enjoy this one, non-fans should pass. For what it's worth, "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" is a good continuation of the act Sandler has put on for us for over a decade now. Worth a Saturday matinée.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You know, sometimes I just don't understand what the heck is going
through Adam Sandler's head. He's a funny guy with natural charisma
and, I would guess, a reasonable level of intelligence. So why does he
feel compelled to write and produce films of such appallingly low
quality? It worked with his initial efforts, Billy Madison and Happy
Gilmore. Those two films defied any sense of logical criticism. They
were sloppy, yet contained a maniacal sense of anarchic glee. He seemed
thrilled at what he was getting away with. Yet, since the release of
those films over a decade ago, he has continued to crank out
by-the-numbers mediocrity that lacks any feeling of comic discovery.
It is my unfortunate duty now to inform you that his latest, You Don't Mess With The Zohan, is by far his most wretchedly awful film to date. Sandler's character this time, a Mossad agent who dreams of being a hairdresser, would probably fill a lame Saturday Night Live skit, but stretched to over 100 minutes is akin to Chinese water torture.
Zohan isn't any normal secret agent; he's a walking caricature of crass Middle Eastern stereotypes and snickering vulgarity. With a Wham!-inspired haircut and a penchant for shtupping elderly women, he finds employment at a small salon run by the sweet, yet blank, Dalia (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a Palestinian woman with no patience for Zohan's sexism. As can be predicted, despite their antagonistic relationship, they soon are yearning to "make the bam-boom". Their insipid love story intermingles with a laugh-free subplot featuring Zohan's nemesis the Phantom (John Turturro) and a hapless Arab cab-driver (Rob Schneider, ladies and gentlemen...) ineptly planning murder attempts.
Now, racial stereotyping and crude humor can be used to great comic effect in the proper hands. The makers of Borat toed the line brilliantly, delivering great vulgar hilarity mixed with social commentary. You Don't Mess With The Zohan is not even in the same time zone, much less ballpark. The film is amazingly hostile and mean-spirited, mocking its targets with unfiltered scorn for the majority of the running time, yet tacking on a "we're all the same" message at the end. It's like the school-yard bully who beats the snot out of you all semester but wishes you a good summer at when vacation time rolls around. Why did no one involved in this debacle pull Sandler aside and gently suggest that this material was unfilmable? Also concerning is the amount of animal abuse presented for cheap laughs. There is a particularly soul-killing scene featuring Zohan and two friends playing hacky-sack with a cat. Now, a good writer would use this undeniably objectionable act as a springboard to a larger pay-off. That would redeem the bad taste and warrant the scene's inclusion. Not here however, where the only apparent joke is that a trio of grown men are kicking the stuffing out of a helpless animal.
What is almost fascinating about Zohan is how little interest the screen-writers have in their own story. New story lines are launched at random to replace the ones running out of gas. I couldn't believe that the introduction of an evil land-developer to the film occurred near the end of the second act. It would seem that writers' Sandler, Judd Apatow, and Robert Smigel knew that their material was limited and hoped that by padding it liberally, no one would notice. Hence, the heavy helping of crotch close-ups, homophobia, hummus jokes, and dry humping present. As well, the endless cameos come off as desperate and pointless, although it is amusing that Mariah Carey has finally found a fitting companion piece for Glitter.
To call You Don't Mess With The Zohan a misfire is a grand understatement. It's a dreary trudge through migraine-inducing territory that is all the more unforgivable considering the level of talent involved. There's an old adage that it takes true skill and artistry to create a truly horrific film, as hacks will only produce bland mediocrity. Well, Zohan is a colossal achievement, a film that will receive endless mentions on "Worst of 2008" lists, and the rants of legions of angry ticket-buyers. With that said though, Sandler may have inadvertently found a point of agreement for Israelis and Palestinians. I think that both sides would agree that You Don't Mess With The Zohan flat-out SUCKS!
I read over the reviews from other IMDb users and am surprised how many
mentioned that this film is "racist" or "insensitive". It begs the
question: Are people going into to ADAM SANDLER films searching for
serious or deep social and political commentary? This movie is a comedy
and it stars Adam Sandler if you walk into that theater expecting
anything except a stupid-funny movie then you need to instead leave the
theater to go home and hit yourself in the face with a rock, after all
it can't do more damage to your brain.
In the most simple of terms this movie stars Adam Sandler if you do not find him and his over the top antics funny then I would delicately suggest that you do not see his movies as I understand they are not for everyone. To preempt any whining from people saying that "Other Adam Sandler films made me laugh but this one was not the same" let me remind you that the movie you just saw was called You Don't Mess with the Zohan NOT Happy Gilmore. If you walked into this theater expecting to see Happy Gilmore then again let me remind you that you can actually buy Happy Gilmore on DVD and also there is a rock at home for your face. NEWSFLASH! Movies do have differences from one another and thank heavens they do or the only Adam Sandler movie we would ever have is Happy Gilmore recycled over and over.
Finally and perhaps most important of all this movie was never intended to somehow explain or even explore the difficult and tense situation in the Middle East it was not even necessarily supposed to poke fun at it. This movie was supposed to make you laugh. If you laughed and had a good time then who cares? Everyone in the theater with me was laughing through the movie and having a good time. That is what I look for in a comedy so thumbs up Sandler for a fun night out.
I have been coming to IMDb for movie reviews for a few years now and have never commented on a movie...until now. I must say that I was personally a bit confused when I saw the rating on this movie. I expected it to be much higher. (currently a 5.8) The theater was packed on the day I went to see this (opening weekend)...and I went with 6 other people. All of us laughed a lot and left the theater talking about how we thought it was a very funny movie. Consistently the remarks were that we didn't expect it to be so good! The laughs in the theater were very loud and seemed to be coming from throughout the auditorium. Perhaps this humor isn't for everyone but it never occurred to me until now that there would be so many lower ratings. I say this because I most always feel the reviews here at IMDb are right on and rely upon them for my movie going choices. My wife feels the same way about this...very confused at the lower score. Oh well...each to their own as humor is unique to each individual. My recommendation: For anyone considering this movie...if you like Adam Sandler, over the top sexual humor and just plain weird material....see this movie.
If your expectations are high going into movies like this, then please,
do yourself a favor and never watch a movie again. This is an Adam
Sandler movie and we all know what he's like and what type of humor
we're going to expect.....and this movie is no different.
I wanted to laugh, and this movie did just that for me and more! Being from Israel, I found his jokes funny and very witty. I don't know if none-Israeli's would find half the jokes funny though.
The movie tried to delve into the whole Israeli-Arab conflict, but it doesn't go deep enough to make much of a point.
See the movie if you wanna laugh, A lot, but don't see it if your looking for a an Oscar movie night.
I've been a fan of Adam Sandler for much of my life. . . all the way
back to his SNL and 'Airheads' days. I've seen him go through many
phases, from some great films like 'Punch-Drunk Love,' 'Reign Over Me,'
and 'Big Daddy' to some of his lower-end films like 'Eight Crazy
Nights' and 'Little Nicky.'
'You Don't Mess With the Zohan' is not one of his best films, but it's still enjoyable. Personally, I'd place it along the comedic quality of 'Billy Madison'. . . contains mostly sight gags and juvenile humour. But, c'mon. . . sometimes that's what we need. Our world is going to Hell, so shouldn't we have some relief from the pain and torment we must witness on a daily basis? No. It's not a great film. But it's funny and stupid and entertaining. And that's the reason to see it. . . don't expect a comedic masterpiece like 'His Girl Friday' or 'Forrest Gump.' Expect what the film actually as and accept it as such. . . if it's not for you, then it wasn't MEANT for you.
Final verdict: 6.5/10.
Zohan Dvir is a legendary Mossad agent known for his unique skills and
indestructible nature but, unlike his current violent job, Zohan's
dream is to become a hairdresser and bless the world with the gift of
silky-soft and styled hair. He seems destined to never know this dream
though, until he decides to fake his own death during a battle with
Palestinian freedom fighter/terrorist The Phantom. One smuggled flight
later, Zohan arrives in New York to take up a position at the salon of
Paul Mitchell but finds that he cannot just walk into this world of
styling and washing. Refusing to work in an electric store, Zohan finds
work as a cleaner in a small salon run by a Palestinian woman, where he
waits his chance to prove his skills.
The unusual title and setting for the characters were enough to make me forget that, ultimately, what I was about to watch was nothing more than an Adam Sandler comedy. You see, mostly, when you come to a Sandler comedy you know what you are going to get and have a feel for whether or not it is your type of thing. Now the quality of his films may vary but generally what he does and how he does it in most films is pretty constant. However, Mossad agents who wish to pursue a dream of hairdressing in the US is not one of his usual themes and somehow I thought this might be more than just an Adam Sandler comedy as I have experienced them in the past.
The film itself didn't allow me to sit in this misconception for very long as from the very start we find ourselves with physical comedy and jokes reliant totally on body parts and sex organs. This continues with ongoing humour drawn from a young man having intercourse with elderly women on a frighteningly regular basis. Of course if I still hadn't worked it out, then what really reminds me where I am is that the entire film is silly beyond belief but yet also still finds time for a stunning young woman to fall for the main character no matter how arrogant/stupid/unlikable he is - a persistent thread in Sandler films. So, knowing what you are getting into is important but, once there, what does Zohan do for the casual viewer - ie not the audience member who puts Sandler as #1 on the list of all time comedians but rather someone who sees him as, at best, a man who can turn his juvenile comedy into a guilty pleasure. Well, Zohan is not really that funny a film but it just about has enough wild humour and creativity to it to make it quite fun. I was not laughing out loud that often but it did have plenty of amusing moments that made me not hate it - which was a possibility. What helps it is that it throws itself totally into how nonsensical it all is and never really attempts to step away from it, thus maintaining the tone that is knowingly silly and makes it possible for the audience to accept this and not unfairly expect anything more.
Of course this does not make it brilliant by any means and the film is still only silly fun and not a hilarious comedy that is accessible to all. Sandler himself throws himself into his role and his accent even if he still has the same crude material as ever. The fact that he makes fun of the Israel/Palestine situation is a move that gives his material a "different" feel but it is essentially a different doorway to the same material. He plays up the silly aspect but of more help is a wonderfully daft Turturro, Schneider and others, who get easy laughs without the need to progress plot. As she did in "In The Mix", Chriqui concentrates on being light and sexy not that easy with her accent but she does her basic requirement.
Zohan looks like it will be a daring and imaginative comedy but, beyond the basic design of the film the material is pretty much what you would expect from an Adam Sandler film in so much as it is crude, silly and aimed at a teenage market. It is silly and if you are in the mode it is quite fun but if you are looking for anything more than that then you'll be disappointed. An usual Adam Sandler film, but still very much an Adam Sandler film.
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