In Don't Mess With the Zohan, Adam Sandler proves that he can pull off what the United Nations can't do: bring Israelis and Palestinians together all while helping make the world silky smooth.
Zohan is an Israeli counterterrorist superhero of sorts, part James Bond, part Austin Powers. He doesn't wear a cape, but he's able to do everything from catch bullets in his teeth to jump from buildings in a single bound. He's the best at what he does, but his true passion lies elsewhere: in a hair salon. During a battle with his arch-enemy, the Phantom (John Turturro), he decides to fake his death and ship himself to America, the home of his idol, Paul Mitchell. Posing as Austrailian and adopting the name "Scrappy Coco", the aggressive, but inexperienced Zohan fails at impressing the staff at Paul Mitchell and any other hair salon in New York.
After being recognized by a former countryman, Oori (Ido Mosseri), Zohan is encouraged not to give up on his dream and to apply at the Palestinian hair salon across the street. The desperate Zohan waits his turn and soon becomes as known for his hairstyling skills as he does with having sex with his senior citizen clients afterwards. It's not long before he falls for the Palestinian owner Dalia (Emmanuelle Chriqui) and his commando past catches up with him.
Sandler runs the comedic spectrum of political satire without coming across as elitist or as a tongue in cheek documentary. His no-holds-barred take on middle eastern stereotypes in too funny to be offensive. Although the Israelis and Palestinians live across the street from each other, thanks to the oversexed Zohan, the men all find they are more alike than apart as epitomized when they speak on how they'd like to have sex with Hillary Clinton. Yes, being horny crosses all cultural and religious boundaries. Almost every cameo and co-star seems hand-picked by Sandler, evidenced by the way they're allowed to shine if even for a second, whether is longtime pal Henry Winkler blowing chunks or would-be villian and former SNLer Rob Schneider's Salim trying to make a bomb out of pain medication.
Director Dennis Dugan is four films deep with Sandler and allows him to be over the top without coming across as too wacky. While you may have Robin Williams flashbacks when you see him disco dancing across the street or dry humping anything in existence (including the window of the Paul Mitchell salon), you can tell Dugan knows when to rein him in. Sandler co-wrote the film with Robert Smigel (Triumph, the Insult Dog) and Judd Apatow (Superbad). With so many top chefs in the kitchen, the movie could've been a trainwreck, but Zohan turns out to be the funniest ride of the summer.
PG-13:for crude and sexual content throughout, language, and nudity.
Billy Tatum gives Don't Mess With the Zohan 5 Scoops