The Hebrew Hammer

on December 19, 2003 by Annlee Ellingson
In this hilarious send-up of superhero movies, blaxploitation flicks and film noir, the Hebrew Hammer (Adam Goldberg) is the world's first Jewish superhero, decked out in earlocks and black leather, determined to keep Hanukkah safe for Hasidic kids everywhere. When Santa's son Damien (Andy Dick) slaughters Old St. Nick with the devious scheme of wiping out Hanukkah once and for all--with the particularly nefarious plot of showering Jewish neighborhoods with highly addictive videos of “It's a Wonderful Life”--the Hammer's on the case with the help of Esther (Judy Greer) from the Jewish Justice League and Mohammed (Mario Van Peeples, in tongue-in-cheek casting) from the Kwanzaa Liberation Front. The latter ally is particularly helpful when the sun sets on the Sabbath, and the Hammer and Esther's superpowers succumb to the day of rest.

It's a concept that works best when it's spoofing the aforementioned genres, less so when it plummets into slapstick, particularly in the scenes at the Hammer's mother's dinner table. Still, even a gentile can appreciate the witty wordplay and visual puns flying off the screen at a mile a minute. Starring Adam Goldberg, Andy Dick, Judy Greer, Mario Van Peeples, Peter Coyote and Nora Dunn. Directed and written by Jonathan Kesselman. Produced by Josh Kesselman, Sofia Sondervan and Lisa Fragner. A Strand release. Comedy. Unrated. Running time: 82 min

Tags: Adam Goldberg, Andy Dick, Judy Greer, Mario Van Peeples, Peter Coyote, Nora Dunn, Jonathan Kesselman, Sofia sondervan, Lisa Fragner, Strand, Comedy, superhero, Jewish

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