Movie Review: The Hebrew Hammer ain’t no schmuck

By Kyle Francis

“Shabbat Shalom, motherfuckers,” says the Hebrew Hammer, pulling dual shotguns on a room of Neo-Nazis. It would be hard to call this scene anything but badass. It’s wonderful to see an artist pull off something like this, creating quirky characters despite a low budget.

He’s a dual pistol wielding, trash talking, elf busting, Semitic stallion. He’s the Hebrew Hammer and he’s schtupping his way onto an action packed DVD. The movie dares to break the action part of the action-comedy formula, but it still adheres closely to a tried and true comedy mold. In flicks targeting a niche audience, like Undercover Brother, the trend leans toward playing up as many stereotypes as possible. The Hebrew Hammer doesn’t stray from the formula, but it executes it better than most. Starring Adam Goldberg as the Hammer, the film wastes no time in setting up the character as a “Jew of the people” and exploiting virtually every Jewish, black, and white stereotype in existence.

It’s in the exploitative nature of the script making it balefully obvious the film is made for Jewish audiences. Many viewers will relate to the incessant stereotypical references made by the film at the expense of Jews and others, but much of the script comes off as a inside joke. Although Jews will indubitably get a few more of the jokes in the movie, we gentiles can still watch it and bust a nut laughing.

The Hebrew Hammer begins with Santa’s assassination by his evil son Damien (Andy Dick), a malevolent little man wanting to destroy Hanukkah and commit cultural genocide on a younger generation of Jews with bootlegged copies of It’s a Wonderful Life. The only hero kosher enough to save the day is none other than the Hebrew Hammer. The plot is intentionally cliched and the film cracks many self-referential jokes as a result.

From Dick to Golberg, the acting in the film is just as deliberately ham-handed as its premise, exemplifying the gross stereotypes the movie relies so heavily upon for its humor. Although there are those turned off by this irreverent brand of humor, the kind of person twisted enough to watch a movie with a title like The Hebrew Hammer is bound to appreciate the film’s calculated farce.

An absolutely ridiculous idea, a cast of genuinely funny characters and some indisputably good directing in the face of a low budget, unite to make The Hebrew Hammer a rollicking comedy, even if members of the ethnic groups the film takes advantage of will no doubt get the most out of it. At the absolute least, The Hebrew Hammer will appeal to those needing a certicfied circumcised dick to chase away the holiday blues.

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