Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity Reviewed by: Frank Release date: June 6, 2008 Released by: Sony Pictures
Adam Sandler continues to become eccentric characters who are different, but equally silly. As Zohan he finds himself on the beach surrounded by attractive young women watching as he performs super-hero like motions with a ball and spatula, while walking and standing in the nude. He is a hero in the Israeli army and The Phantom (John Turturro) is a Palestinian who Zohan is sent to kill even after he begs to be out of the army. Mom wants him in the army where he has a steady job and is therefore safe.
With that background Zohan shocks folks when he declares he wants to be a hair dresser. His way out is to fake death and head for America and Paul Mitchell's salon to begin a new life. While Rob Schneider as Salim drives a NYC cab as he plots an attack on Jews in America because Zohan stole his goat. A perfect role for the zany Schneider. Nick Swardson as Michael becomes a friend following his rescue by Zohan during a street confrontation. That leads to an opportunity to reside with Michael and his mom, Gail played with tongue-in-cheek glee by Lainie Kazan who acts as free and sexy as she did in the sixties when she appeared in centerfolds.
This super-hero wants just the opposite of The Incredibles who wanted back in the super-hero game, he wants a quiet life making hair smooth and silky. Rejecting a potential career at the "Going out of Business" electronics store he finds only one possibility for work which is working for a Palestinian women played by the striking Emmanuelle Chriqui. Chriqui's Dalia is under pressure to sell as her rent continues to be pushed up by her land lord and unsavory developer who wants to demolish the entire block and build a new mega-mall that will contain a spectacular hair service shop. Sounds a lot like Queen Latifah's Beauty Shop. It's Zohan's gyrations and The Producers style of attention to older women clients that set up lines to be serviced in Dalia's salon.
While Schneider's Salim works to build a bomb with an over the counter lotion, the Palestinians on one side of the New York street challenge the Jews on the other side. Zohan plays kick the cat with Michael and moves the film into a peace conference on the street between the two historic enemy nationalities. By that point as we are dragged into a peace message watching Zohan and The Phantom work together to save the street, we know they will come together through marriage and peace will reign in the neighborhood. Sounds like a message for the Middle East. That is inconsistent with the silly nonsense filled script and helps to bring down a not so comical film.
If this film is pegged toward an audience of young men, they will enjoy the early scenes filled with bikini clad young women, the relationships with the older women may be more comical, but the target audience will not be amused.
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