You Don't Mess With the Zohan Aug 6, 2012 9:13:58 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Aug 6, 2012 9:13:58 GMT -5
Adam Sandler plays yet another stereotype with a cloying accent in You Don't Mess With the Zohan.
I feel like I either am unable to get most of Adam Sandler's schtick or simply can not warm up to him or his characters. His pictures seem to follow the same formula, centered around an intolerable character with a bizarre haircut, an unpleasant accent, and a personality I simply do not find at all intriguing. I've called them "anti-character studies" and You Don't Mess With the Zohan adheres to this typical groggy formula.
Centered around a professional and highly flexible Israeli soldier, You Don't Mess With the Zohan's title character is a goofy, crude buffoon who dreams of leaving his stressful country, that seems to never be overcoming its hatred for Palestine, to become a successful stylist and beautician. After his family howls at his dreams, Zohan fakes his death and ventures out to America, where he quickly becomes popular, despite a few notable setbacks, such as Rob Schneider's Salim, a Palestinian cab driver who recognizes Zohan soon after he begins working at an upper-class beauty salon in New York.
Much of the humor derives from Zohan's incredible ability to fight people, because of his impeccable and unassuming strengths. The "anti-character study" idea was knocking around my head when I realized here is a character erected from the ground up on stereotypes, uttering some of the most cringe worthy dialog backed by his oppressive accent, and is functioning in a world where few people have an IQ higher than him. Sandler has made films with more depressing and appallingly unconvincing characters, the lead in That's My Boy and The Waterboy to name a few, but Zohan could definitely be the character in his films I grew weary of the fastest. After about five or ten minutes I had already reached my capacity with this character. I guess I wouldn't want to mess with the Zohan, but I also wouldn't want to know him or even meet him either.
Stretching this film out to near two hours in length is an act of audience masochism and the sad act of milking of an idea that is not clever, witty, or interesting. The film is watery, beyond reasonable length, and dull in more parts than it is funny. As expected, Sandler regulars like Rob Schneider and Nick Swardson get their time in the picture and, as one could also expect, they are unable to elevate was is already a film almost dead on arrival.
I'm reaching my capacity for Sandler's comedic works and am likely to reposition myself in front of his dramas in the near future. What can I say? His comedy is mostly successful when he truly seems like he wants to do more than make the audience laugh at the sheer stupidity of everything; Big Daddy and Click come to mind. It's dense exercises of tedium and repetition like You Don't Mess With the Zohan that hurt him more than truly make me like him.
Starring: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan, and Rob Schneider. Directed by: Dennis Dugan.