Jonathan Kesselman

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The Hebrew Hammer Review


OK
It's the curse of the great-pitch movie: They can never live up to the premise. And the funny but sloppy The Hebrew Hammer has a premise to kill for. Mordechai Jefferson Carver (Adam Goldberg) is the hero of the title, a badass Orthodox Jew who makes a slight living as a private eye (his door reads "Certified Circumcised Dick") and prowls the streets of Gotham, striking fear into the hearts of anti-Semites and admonishing the kids to "stay Jewish." He rolls like Superfly in an extra-long Cadillac, fully pimped-out, but always observes the Sabbath and loves his mother, of course.

Every superhero needs a supervillain, of course, and this film's answer to that maxim is Andy Dick. Apparently psychotic from birth, Dick plays Damian, the racist son of Santa who kills his more tolerant father and sets about turning the North Pole into a sweatshop, banishing the non-Aryan elves and concocting a diabolical plan to destroy Hanukkah. Not surprisingly, this causes the Jewish Justice League (who hold court in a massive, Star of David-shaped building) no small amount of consternation, and they start casting about for a Jewish hero to fight Damian. Quickly discarding suggestions of Steven Spielberg and Yitzhak Perlman, they reluctantly settle on the Hammer, whom they'd drummed out of the organization long before.

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The Hebrew Hammer Movie Review

The Hebrew Hammer Movie Review

It's the curse of the great-pitch movie: They can never live up to the premise....

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