You Don t Mess with the Zohan

  • Directors: Dennis Dugan
  • Producers: Adam Sandler, Jack Giarraputo
  • Writers: Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, Judd Apatow
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Adam Sandler, John Turturro, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Nick Swardson, Lainie Kazan, Rob Schneider

Zohan Dvir, an Israeli Special Forces soldier, leaves his vacation at Tel Aviv beach, agreeing to complete yet another mission of recapturing a key Palestinian terrorist, the “Phantom”, who had been freed by the Israeli government in a prisoner exchange. Later, as Zohan expresses his desire to leave Israel and become a hairdresser in New York City, his wishes are met with derision by his mother and father.

The disgruntled Zohan fakes his own death during the pursuit of the Phantom, who is tricked into believing he had killed Zohan. Zohan smuggles himself into a flight to New York City in a pet crate. Changing his hairstyle into a 1987 Paul Mitchell’s Avalon style, shaving his beard into a goatee and taking “Scrappy Coco” (Scrappy and Coco being the names of two dogs he befriended during the flight) as a new alias, he sets out to pursue his dreams in New York City.

Initially unsuccessful in getting hired at several salons, Zohan’s military expertise earns him a new friend, Michael, who gives him a place to stay. Zohan’s passion for disco (Discothèques) runs him into a fellow Israeli named Oori, a Zohan fan who is aware of Scrappy Coco’s true identity but agrees to keep it a secret. Oori introduces him to a block in lower Manhattan filled with Middle Eastern Americans, who are split between a Palestinian side and an Israeli side of the street.

Zohan arrives and calms the Israelis and Palestinians, who each blame the other for the violence and fires. The Phantom then appears and confronts Zohan, but he refuses to fight and eventually convinces the Phantom to cooperate with him against the arsonists. As Zohan and Phantom work to save the block, Dalia appears, revealing that she is the Phantom’s sister. Zohan’s personal dossier technology allows him to discover the arsonists’ true identities as white racist rednecks hired by Walbridge to instigate an inter-ethnic riot between the Israelis and Palestinians and hopefully allow him to take over their stores more easily. Zohan and Phantom lead the united Israelis and Palestinians of the block to save their shops, defeating the rednecks, thwarting Walbridge’s plans, but damaging all of the shops on the block including Dalia’s salon. With the Israelis and the Palestinians united, the block is transformed into a collectively-owned mall called the Peace and Brotherhood Fire Insurance Mall, in which Phantom opens a shoe store and Zohan and Dalia open a joint beauty parlor.

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