Adam Sandler's movies haver never represented the apex of cultural awareness, but they do tend to grapple, if somewhat brashly, with the finer points of human relations. In his latest raunchfest, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, the insolent comic creates "his stupidest character ever" (as an audience member muttered five minutes into last night's New York preview screening), but it's also his most symbolic one: Sporting a hyperbolic flair for disco music and using hummus as toothpaste, hardened Israeli soldier Zohan is a bloated creature of Semitic extremes.

Overall, however, the movie uses metaphors more than stereotypes. When Zohan and a furious Palestinian terrorist (John Turturro) use paddles to bat a live grenade back and forth, the result is a lowbrow editorial cartoon.