- Released Internationally on 06/06/08
- Released in Malta by KRS on 20/08/08
In a nutshell
Adam Sandler is Israel’s best counter-terrorist agent. After years of impeccable service, he decides he wants to escape to a new life as a hair-stylist in New York. But after establishing himself in the business, his past begins to catch up with him.
Why we’re hyped
Adam Sandler has proved his abilities time and time again both as a comedian and as a ‘serious’ actor, and thankfully over the past few years we’ve been able to see him in a steady mix of insane comedies and moving dramas. After last year’s Chuck and Larry fiasco, this looks to be a return to form for Sandler’s particular brand of humour, and despite a number of mixed reviews we know we’re guaranteed a few laughs.
Who’s in it?
Adam Sandler started work on the script, along with Judd Apatow (of 40-year Old Virgin and Knocked-Up fame) at the start of the decade, but the project was shelved due to the events of 9/11, as it was deemed untimely. But time heals all wounds, and the script resurfaced, with Sandler himself taking on starring and production roles. Cult favourite John Turturro (Transformers) and relative newcomer Emmanuelle Chriqui play Zohan’s nemesis and love interest, respectively.
Nobody is safe
You have to hand it to Adam Sandler. If he thinks something is funny, and he wants to bring it to the big screen, there isn’t much that will stand in his way. Not political correctness, not the laws of physics, nor the conventions of good taste. And to his credit, most of what he brings to our cinemas this time around is indeed quite hilarious, and probably couldn’t have been pulled off by anyone else working today. Rednecks, Israelis, Palestinians, the elderly, the Clintons and countless other facets of society fall victim to the Zohan, and he seems to work on the premise that if you ridicule everyone, and both sides of every argument, then nobody will accuse you of racism. Still, if you turn a blind eye to his blatant abuse of every stereotype imaginable, then everything will turn out right in the end, and you might have had a few chuckles in the meantime.
Most of the comedy stems from the Zohan persona himself, whom Sandler and Apatow seems to have had great fun creating. Zohan’s exaggerated physical abilities are handled with gusto, and Sandler keeps a straight face throughout as he takes first the Middle East and then the US by storm. The plot concept, as outlined above, is enough to guarantee a host of laughs, but Sandler peppers the character with countless extra details, such as his great admiration for Mariah Carey, that help prevent the laughs from drying up towards the end.
Not for everyone
As is the norm for Adam Sandler’s recent offerings, this isn’t a film you would want to take your mum to see. The jokes get pretty crass, and some of the innuendo might be hard to stomach. A few moments stand out brilliantly however, such as the group of Israelis and Palestinians meeting in the street to discuss US politics, and co-star Rob Schneider trying to get through to the Hezbollah helpline. If you like your comedy raunchy and irreverent, you shouldn’t miss the Zohan.
http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony_pictures/youdontmesswiththezohan/ (High-res QuickTime)