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You shouldn’t bother with the ‘Zohan’

Memorable films are the ones that grab your attention with outlandish characters or unique scripts. At the same time, saying a film is memorable is not always relative to the measure of quality a film may have. “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” is a film from Adam Sandler that, although it may be memorable, is equally distasteful and insipidly uninspiring. Even for Sandler die-hards, this is going to be a tough sell.

“Zohan” is one of those films that feels like it was thrown together after a night of excessive drinking while watching newsreels about the war in the Middle East. Sandler plays Zohan, whom we meet on a beach full of awestruck, bikini-clad women surrounding a group of Israeli men playing hacky sack.

Zohan, at the center of attention, exhibits a plethora of superhuman skills. Just after he clenches a fish with his bare buttocks, we learn that Zohan’s real day job is a counter terrorist agent.

With skills like catching bullets with his teeth, swimming like a dolphin and disarming villains in a millisecond, Zohan may seem like a perfect fit for his violent lifestyle. However, Zohan has a higher and remotely notable dream that prompts him to leave his country in search of his calling to be a hairdresser. Now, armed only with his scissors and Paul Mitchell’s book of hairstyles from the 80s, Zohan sets off to America with the ambition to create hairstyles and sexual favors that no women would ever want.

“Zohan” is a political satire that is filled to the brim with racial stereotypes that discredit the assumed nature of the film. What seemingly looks to be a humorous film about an immigrant who wishes to cut and style hair, Zohan gears its jokes towards the ongoing feud in the Middle East while further stereotyping their characters. If Sandler’s intention was truly to promote peace among the Palestinians and Israelis, his efforts have done everything to poke fun at it rather than aid it.

The most memorable Adam Sandler films treat their audiences with a level of integrity or tender resonance among its often immature, but sometimes clever, humor.

Sadly, but with no surprise “Zohan” is Sandler’s most disruptive, distasteful and worst film. It will only be remembered for its blatant absurdity. If Rachael Ray can’t get away with wearing a scarf in a Dunkin’ Donuts ad, why should Sandler get away with this garbage?

CRITIC’S RATING: Half of a star out of four

LETTER GRADE: D-

RUNTIME: 113 min.

RATED: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, language and nudity.

STARRING: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Rob Schneider

DIRECTOR: Dennis Dugan

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