Throughout his career, Adam Sandler has delivered performances like none others. He has played a slacker going back to school to convince his father that he is his rightful successor in "Billy Madison", portrayed an aggressive golfer with a powerful slapshot in "Happy Gilmore" and turned from a irresponsible slob to a man with new mission in life in "Big Daddy". Now, he is about to present moviegoers with another distinct character, a Mossad agent turned hairstylist, through his upcoming comedy "You Don't Mess With the Zohan". The question that remains is whether he could achieve the similar box office success with "Zohan" like what he did with "Big Daddy" or even top it.
With the teaming up of Sandler and established filmmaker Judd Apatow, it is apparent that "Zohan" is aiming to deliver the best comedy film of 2008. However, it seems that critics are divided in two giving out mixed reviews for the Columbia Pictures' movie.
On the positive side, a number of critics who gets the comical situations hailed "Zohan" to be the best of Sandler's feature film so far. Sheri Linden of Hollywood Reporter commented that the tidbit is "a genial, hit-and-miss return to the ridiculous for Adam Sandler". Providing support to Linden, Films In Review's Victoria Alexander exclaimed that it is "a funny Sandler movie" that obviously has the actor's mark all over it. Another positive view came from Joshua Tyler of Cinema Blend who believes that the movie is way better than any other movies since "Austin Powers" considering the "sight gags, genital jokes, and crazy caricatures".
Though some are soaked up in the comedy provided by the Dennis Dugan-directed film, most of the box office watchers do not buy the laughters. Several of the top movie critics, including Brian Lowry of Variety and Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, are not impressed with the delivery. Lowry gave out disappointing review noting, "Zohan is a mess and then some" and Schwarzbaum observed it as "a circus that never really flies". Adding to the detrimental criticism, Associated Press movie critic, Christy Lemire pointed out that "Zohan" is "rather conventional and familiar" while Michael A. Smith of Nolan's Pop Culture Review suggested that watching this movie is like watching two different movies which are equally bad.
Regardless of the different opinions offered by the critics, "Zohan" will be able to be seen in the theaters nationwide on June 6. It follows the story of an Israeli commando who is the top lethal agent in his country but gets tired of the war. Having a life-long dream of becoming a hairstylist, he then decides to fake his death, goes to New York City and pursues a career in the hairstyling industry. But just when his life gets to the better part with him falling in love to a Palestinian beauty who owns the beauty salon where he works, his identity is compromised forcing him to avoid him being killed by the Palestinians. The movie stars also Emmanuelle Chriqui, John Turturro and Rob Schneider.