Film: You Don't Mess with the Zohan
...He'll blow you away.
An action comedy featuring Adam Sandler
as an Israeli super soldier, and John Turturro as his arch-nemesis, The Phantom. (No, not that one.
The plot goes something like this: Zohan Dvir is an Israeli super soldier, sort of a cross between Chuck Norris and Borat, who becomes tired of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
. He fakes his own death, and moves to the United States, where he fulfills his life-long dream of becoming a (heterosexual) hairdresser.
This movie features examples of:
- The Ace: Zohan breathes this trope, as does, to a lesser extent, Phantom.
- Adam Sandler Is About to Blow-Dry You: Well, just look at this page's image.
- All Jews Are Ashkenazi: Averted. While Yiddish as a Second Language is played glaringly straight (see below), while the Israelis portrayed (most notably Zohan’s friend Oori, played by Ido Mosseri).
- Ambiguously Brown: Walbridge awkwardly refers to Middle Easterners as being "brown....or khaki....or whatever color it is."
- Arab Beoble Talk: Bizarrely averted. Hebrew sounds in this film more like Yiddish and has random kh-sounds thrown in at random (Zohan claims he’s from ‘Khaustralia’), and, while a handful of Arabic and Hebrew dialogue shows up in the film, the fake Arabic sounds somewhat like Yiddish too (e.g. the Phantom’s ‘muchentuchen’).
- Arab-Israeli Conflict: The backdrop of this movie.
- Badass Israeli: A constant Running Gag - an Israeli, long released from the army and running a falafel shop in America, is certainly going to keep grenades, rocket launchers and other heavy weaponry stashed somewhere, just in case. Also, a Mossad agent can clearly leap from to roof and do cool things with his ligaments. Just look at the poster.
- Between My Legs: Parodied in the promotional posters.
- Big "NO!": Walbridge, after his girlfriend's perfectly proportioned breasts deflate.
- Bilingual Bonus: Averted, subverted and played straight in the same film. Lots of the stuff said in the film is gibberishnote , Sandler uses few Hebrew words with Yiddish pronunciation, and Ido Mosseri as Oori calls the Walbridge employee a homo in legitimate Hebrew. But the most notable example of this trope is when the Phantom calls Zohan a jerknote in Hebrew with dramatic inflection, which is somewhat of a Funny Moment for Israeli viewers.
- Also, ‘puntakhat’, while it’s not an actual Hebrew word, slang or not, sounds like a corruption of ‘pot’ (vagina) and ‘takhat’ (arse).
- The Cameo: John McEnroe (in his second Sandler movie), Henry Winkler (in his third), and Mariah Carey (in a better movie than her usual). So too did George Takei, and Bruce Vilanch.
- Camp Straight: Several characters (including his own parents at one point) mistake him for being gay.
- Clown Car: In the climax, there is an instance of mooks getting out of a car...waaay more than the car should fit.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Walbridge
- Eats Babies: In a parody of the iconic Rocky Training Montage, Phantom wakes up early, cracks some eggs into a glass, and drinks the live chicks inside. He also punches a heavy bag, then a side of beef, then a live cow.
- Embarrassing First Name: Phantom is embarrassed by his real name, Fatoush, until the end.
- Fauxreigner: Zohan and Phantom take out a mob of Southern rednecks disguised as stereotypical Arab terrorists and Hasidic Jews (so that the Israelis and Palestinians would each think the other ethnic group was vandalizing their shops).
- Fake Nationality: Most of the Palestinian characters in the movie, who are portrayed mainly by Jewish actors.
- Italian John Turturro as the Palestinian Phantom.
- Canadian Jew of Moroccan descent Emmanuelle Chriqui as Dalia.
- Half Jewish Rob Schneider as Salim.
- The only actor on cast who is actually from the region is Israeli Ido Mosseri, who plays Uri.
- Gag Penis: Zohan has a notable bulge in his pants, which he uses at one point to scratch a record.
- Later shown that most of the bulge is being made up by his pubic hair in two separate scenes.
- Gargle Blaster: Fizzy Bubbelech, apparently. Gail's son took one sip and found himself having severe diarrhea, but the Arab and Israeli characters drink it casually and Zohan can down a bottle in less than a second.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: An in-story example. Israelis and Palestinians love three things: Mariah Carey, hacky sack, and disco.
- Global Ignorance: Gail gets Australia confused with South Africa.
- Hummus for Everything: It can even put out fires!
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Zohan just wants to make everyone silky smooth, and Phantom just wants to sell shoes.
- Israelis with Infrared Missiles: Zohan is better than infrared missiles.
- It's Not You, It's Me: This is what Zohan tries to tell Raffaela, and what she in turn tries to tell him, in response to the unfortunate ethnically charged cock-blocking. However, it turns out that the xenophobia goes deeper than expected: Raffaela comes from a terrorist family, and The Phantom is her brother.
- Likes Older Women: Zohan.
- Living Legend: The Zohan is beloved by the Israeli people and both hated and feared by the Palestinian people. Fatoush Hakbarah is his Palestinian reflection.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Zohan and Phantom are both able to make a sound that although harmless on their own, when combined they create a legendary sonic attack that can destroy glass, blow electric connections, and pop breast implants like balloons.
- Magical Realism
- Misfit Mobilization Moment: crossed with Lock and Load Montage
- Our Founder: The Rocky montage ends with the Phantom running up a slope instead of steps, reaching a statue of himself.
- Parody Sue: Zohan. Does impossible wire-fu martial arts, feels zero pain, has a massive budgie stuffed down his trousers and is attracted mainly to every women besides his love interest, all played for laughs.
- Politically Incorrect Villains: The white supremacist/survivalist types recruited by Walbridge to terrorize the residents on the block where he wants to build his shopping mall - and, when that doesn't work, to vandalize everyone's shops and make it appear as if the two immigrant groups were targeting each other.
- Raw Eggs Make You Stronger: The Phantom hatches eggs and eats live full-formed chicks from them.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Zohan and the Phantom are the coolest men alive. They both love Mariah Carey and dream of being a hairdresser and shoe salesman respectively.
- Rule of Cool: It's pretty much directly stated that Zohan and Phantom can give uppercuts with their feet, control severed body parts, and walk on ceilings because once you become cool enough you can just do that kind of thing.
- Zohan can even uppercut with one foot while Phantom takes his shoe size. and thus has his other leg raised in the air. That's right, Zohan can stand when both his feet are in the air.
- Rule of Funny: The only way to describe the very impossible stunts in this movie such as Zohan tying a guy's limbs to make him look like a pretzel or being able stand with both feet in the air while kicking ass and getting his shoe size.
- Running Gag: Using hummus for everything, up to and including toothpaste and putting out fires.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: The Phantom is surprisingly easy to startle.
- Serious Business: Even the lowly job of sweeping the hair clippings is this to Zohan.
- Small Reference Pools: Surprisingly, the supposedly sophisticated Walbridge doesn't know what hummus is - this despite the fact that hummus is available in most large American cities, and not just in Semitic communities.
- Space Whale Aesop: The conclusion for the movie paints the picture that the ultimate solution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict is for everybody in the region to move to America.
- Speaking Like Totally Teen: The hairstyling book from the '80s is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Spell My Name with a "The"
- This Is What the Building Will Look Like: The model of Walbridge's planned shopping mall.
- Title Drop: The title is said by Zohan's friend after Zohan beats several strong men and a bull in tug of war singlehanded. In fact, it's actually the very first line in the movie.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Zohan loves hummus. He puts it on everything he eats and even brushes his teeth with it. Also, Fizzy Bubbelech, of which he can down an entire bottle in less than a second.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: No, really.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Okay, so it's "Lather. Rinse. Save the world." Same difference.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Zohan's appeal to his neighbors when it looks as if an inter-ethnic war is about to break out.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: Zohan and some other Israelis pepper their speech with Yiddishisms in a manner no actual Israeli would, certainly not in that age group, and certainly not if they’re not even Ashkenazi. (Though it just adds an extra level of hilarity to the film if you are Israeli.)