You Don't Mess With The Zohan Review, by Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal

"You Don't Mess With the Zohan" is as messy as comedies come. Much of it, though, is an inspired, hilarious mess. The organizing idea -- the disorganized organizing idea -- combines Jewish James Bond, webless Spider-Man and gross-out "Shampoo." Adam Sandler's Zohan is an Israeli counter-terrorist operative who, despite his superpowers, wants to be a hair stylist and make the world silky smooth. Why? Don't ask. Or, ask, but the answer is why not, since Mr. Sandler and his co-writers, Robert Smigel and Judd Apatow, haven't written a silky-smooth script so much as concocted a lumpy hummus of antic notions. On paper the movie must have looked invitingly idiotic. On screen it looks crazed, but the comic energy is huge, if indiscriminate, and Mr. Sandler's performance -- think Topol doing Charles Boyer -- can be as delicate as it is gleefully vulgar or grotesque.


In Israel, the hero's nemesis is a Palestinian terrorist, the Phantom, who's played by John Turturro. (The Phantom and Jesus, Mr. Turturro's character in "The Big Lebowski," could bowl on the same team.) In New York, where Zohan reinvents himself as a hairdresser named Scrappy Coco, he gets entry-level work in a beauty parlor owned by a lovely Palestinian -- she's played by Emmanuelle Chriqui -- but there's no rest for the combat-weary; soon he's fighting Arab terrorists anew. (The New York neighborhood, with Arabs on one side of the street and Jews on the other, recalls the fast-food rivalry of the Oscar-winning short "West Bank Story.")


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You Don't Mess With The Zohan

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