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You Don't Mess With the Zohan

Director:  Dennis Dugan
Year Released:  2008
Rating:  2.0

Borat-inspired malarkey from Adam Sandler and his writing partners Judd Apatow and Robert Smigel (the man behind the crass Triumph the Insult Comic Dog) has Sandler as an Israeli counterterrorist who secretly moves to New York and fulfill his dream of cutting women's hair. It is sporadically funny but politically naïve and mostly juvenile, having the virile Zohan able to do push-ups without the use of his hands (but with the use of computers and/or props) and fornicate with the elderly women whose hair he styles; it's like Sacha Baron Cohen but without the wit or extreme humor (the accursed PG-13 the producers no doubt wanted also limits its comedic range). The real scene-stealer in this is the incredibly versatile and underrated John Turturro as Palestinian assassin/fast food entrepreneur The Phantom: he's played good and bad guys in dramas and his comedic timing is impeccable. There's a reason why the flippant Coens and the dead-serious Spike Lee both keep casting him.

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