The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Sandler revisits comic roots in ‘Zohan’ flick

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is far from funny, but add in Adam Sandler and a lot of hummus and you get “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan,” a comedy about an?Israeli counter-terrorist’s?dream to be a hairstylist.

Sandler plays The Zohan, a famous counter-terrorist in his home country of Israel, who longs to be a hairdresser and covets a Paul Mitchell hairstyle book from the ’80s. He waits for the day when he can stop fighting and start making hair “silky smooth.”

“You Don’t Mess with The Zohan” is Sandler’s long-awaited return back to funny movies, the last one being “Little Nicky.”?The return to comedy is successful because Sandler, Robert Smigel (“Saturday Night Live”) and Judd Apatow (“Superbad”) wrote the script. Lately, most movie comedies released in movie theaters are tied to Apatow, and audiences can be sure that hilarity will ensue whenever this happens.

?Moviegoers first meet?The Zohan, played by Sandler, on a beach. He wears cut-off jean shorts, a big crotch and a sleeveless Mariah Carey shirt. Everyone on the beach knows who he is and loves him. The Zohan shows off one of his many skills when he plays hackie sac, a pastime the movie shows is loved not only by Israelis, but by Palestinians as well.

The Zohan is considered the best in the field of counter-terrorism. People seem to want to be the Zohan or at least have his fighting skills. In once scene with The Zohan and his parents, he tries to tell them he wants to cut hair instead of fight as a counter-terrorist.?His parents cannot understand why, and his father tells him, “Rembrandt with a grenade,” to try and convince him to continue to fight.

John Turturro (“Do the Right Thing”) plays?The Zohan’s nemesis, Phantom, a Palestinian terrorist.?When the Phantom comes out of hiding, The Zohan decides this is his chance to disappear and fulfill his lifelong dream. The fight scene between The Zohan and Phantom shows the former’s amazing?fighting skills. He takes rocks children throw at him, and he turns them into a dog. He is able to dodge and bend as though he belonged in “The Matrix.”

?This movie shows that Sandler has finally returned to his over-the-top characters not only with bad outfits – he wears polyester shirts and mandels – but also with a pretty bad Israeli accent. Sandler also appears to have worked out for this movie to prepare for a somewhat physically demanding role. “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” exaggerates Sandler’s new physique and the lead character’s physical prowess when he does hand-free push-ups.

The script as well is a bit over-the-top, utilizing stereotypes of Israelis and Palestinians for a few kicks and giggles.?Israelis own electric stores and Palestinians have multiple wives. The food hummus could be considered a costar, as it is not only food in the movie but a symbol of the Middle East. The Zohan’s father uses it in his drink, and he dips his glasses in it and licks it off. The Zohan likes to use hummus in people’s hair. As the movie shows, there is nothing that hummus cannot go with or cannot do.?

???Sandler fans will not be disappointed, as many of the Happy Madison family return, such as Rob Schneider (“Deuce Bigalow”), who plays a Palestinian New York taxi cab driver. And there are plenty of cameos from Sandler’s past movies such as Henry Winkler, Chris Rock, John McEnroe, Kevin James, and many more.

? The movie does not offer a solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict, but it point out that both sides can get along when they live in America. A message the movie may leave moviegoers with is that if the two sides can get along here, it is possible for them to do so over there.?Either way, anyone looking for a laugh should see this movie, and maybe the ongoing conflict can be eased with hilarity.?

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