Israeli commando Zohan Dvir (Adam Sandler) – known as The Zohan – is his country’s most famous counter-terrorist. Highly skilled, seemingly indestructible, The Zohan is equally adept with the ladies as he is with taking out his enemies, including his nemesis, the Palestinian terrorist Phantom (John Turturro).
But The Zohan has a secret… though he loves his country, he is tired of all the fighting, and he longs for an opportunity to make a break from the army and express his creativity by becoming a hairstylist. However, as long as he fights terrorism, The Zohan’s dream is impossible, leading him to cry himself to sleep at night over images from the 1987 Paul Mitchell style book he keeps hidden in his bedroom. The Zohan gets his chance when Phantom resurfaces. Instead of taking him out, The Zohan fakes his own death and escapes, leading a delighted Phantom to believe that he has finally offed The Zohan. Stowing away on a plane to New York with only a dream and the clothes on his back, The Zohan hides out in a cargo container with two dogs, Scrappy and Coco. The Zohan’s first stop is the Paul Mitchell hair salon, where he takes on his new cover identity as, what else, Scrappy Coco. Initially mocked for his outdated ways, The Zohan is not to be stopped in his quest to make the world silky smooth.
Sandler, who is – amazingly – one of America’s top box office draws, avoids the career lows of his previous outings in The Longest Yard, Spanglish and Click with a film that, while typically non PC and over-reliant on crotch jokes, does manage to engage at times. Using cameo roles, as is his trademark, we’re treated to Rob Schneider, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and even Mariah Carey who hams up her diva status. Zohan is no Steve Martin – but he does at least manage to avoid any toilet humour this time around.