You Don’t Mess With The Zohan – Sandler Almost Gets It Right

You Don’t Mess With the Zohan     C+

Starring Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, John Turturro and Emmanuelle Chriqui
Directed by Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore)
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity
Appropriate for ages 16+

The Story: Israeli counter-terrorist Zohan (Sandler) fakes his own death so that he can escape to New York City and pursue his passion: hairstyling.  In order to gain success as a stylist he has sex with all of the older women that come in to get their hair done, and subsequently has them lined up around the block. 

The Good: This is not a bad premise for a film.  In fact, the first half of the film is the funniest best first half of a Sandler comedy film I’ve seen in a decade.  While the bits are way over the top, you can’t help but laugh at this unique super-hero-like character.

I would really like to see what they could have done with an R rating.  After all, they had to keep it way too clean in order to reach PG-13, and an R could have brought the quality up while not having an effect on audience numbers.

The Bad: Once the story is set up, and the premise is through with it’s introduction, the film falls flat from lack of what to do next.  In fact it almost feels like Sandler and gang improvised everything (badly) once they passed the half-way point.  To make matters worse, Mariah Carey steps in for a cameo to prove to us why we hated Glitter so very much.  While I did enjoy the Dave Matthews cameo quite a bit, I found the tale was dead by the time he made his appearance.

The Summary: The hysterical first half doesn’t quite make the dismal second half worth watching.