You Don’t Mess With the Zohan
For his latest, Adam Sandler has created a strange and unique character in the Zohan, a highly effective Israeli counter-terrorist with a penchant for clipping and feathering (hair, that is). When Zohan grows tired of kicking ass in the Mossad, he heads to New York City to start a new life as a hairstylist. In the U.S., Israelis are running electronics shops, and Arabs drive taxis. I’m sure some will be offended by these caricatures, but when you look at the big picture, it’s clear Sandler (a Jew himself, who co-wrote with Robert Smigel) set out to offend everyone equally, and, more importantly, place no blame. Zohan even goes to work for a Palestinian hair salon, run by the beautiful Dalia (Emmanuelle Chriqui). He tells the elderly female customers how “bangable” they are, and gives them a little more than just a shampoo and style. When not doing hair, Zohan is chilling with his neighbors (including the hilarious Nick Swardson) and standing up to wrongdoers, who think his “fagela” short-shorts and ’80s ’do mean he’s a wuss. The theatrics in these scenes really bring the film to life by turning Zohan into a superhero of sorts, doing back flips off buildings and twisting people into human pretzels.