Monday, June 16, 2008

Movies: You Don't Mess With The Zohan

If you want to know whether you're going to like "You Don't Mess With The Zohan" (YDMWTZ), here's a fast fact - two of the principal Palestinian characters in the film are played by Rob Schneider and Emmanuelle Chriqui, who are both (get this) not Palestinian, or even Arab (Chriqui was even raised as an orthodox Jew, according to her Wikipedia bio). This sort of casting is just the type of silliness you're going to see in pretty much every frame of YDMWTZ:

Unfortunately, most of it isn't the good type of silly. Adam Sandler plays an Israeli counterterrorist who wants to become a hair stylist, except that he finds it hard to leave his old life behind.

The endless sight gags, double entendres, and ethnic jokes do get tiresome, even when they draw laughs. But the real problem is the sagging plot - even "The Waterboy" had more defined ups and downs than this movie, which really just feels like a string of isolated comedic setups.

Strangely enough, I think the preachy part of the movie - where Sandler notes that at least in America, Israelis and Palestinians need not carry on their endless struggle - is fairly decent for a mainstream comedy. In fact, the basic message is pretty much the same as in Spielberg's "Munich," except that YDMWTZ doesn't take itself too seriously. Still, this is supposed to be a comedy, and while you'll get some laughs the first time around, I can't see myself ever watching this again.

Rating: 4/10


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