The Hebrew Hammer

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Orthodox Jew Mordecai Jefferson Carver (Adam Goldberg) was mercilessly teased by his gentile classmates as a child, especially at Christmastime, because Santa Claus never left presents at his house. As a result, rather than growing up to be a doctor or lawyer, Mordecai disappointed his mother by becoming The Hebrew Hammer, a Semitic super-hero he modeled on black studs like Shaft and Superfly.

And after Damian (Andy DicK), Santa's psycho son, hatched a plan to hypnotize Jewish kids into ignoring Hanukkah in favor of Christianity, this bad, bold, big-nosed, biblical brother finally gets his chance to save the day. So, he teams up with Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahiem (Mario Van Peebles) of the Kwanza Liberation Front to keep the world safe for ethnic diversity. This is the well-intentioned idea behind The Hebrew Hammer, a Kosher comedy set in New York City and stocked with enough Yiddish sayings and Jewish jokes to test even Jackie Mason's patience. You get the idea after less than 5 minutes, but the onslaught continues for another 80. The humor relies far too heavily on familiarity with Jewish stereotypes and presumes an inclination to find ethnic
slurs funny. The picture's plot parallels that of a typical Seventies blaxploit, with The Hammer tooling around town in a garish pimpmobile, but one sporting a Star of David-shaped hood ornament and rear window. Mort gets his marching orders from Chief Bloomenbergansteinthal (Peter Coyote), head of the JJL, the Jewish Justice League, a secret worldwide conspiracy of power brokers. He also has a love interest in Esther (Judy Greer), the Chief’s annoyingly nasal daughter.
 Overall, The Hebrew Hammer is far more offensive than it is amusing, which explains why this fiasco grossed less than $20,000 at the box office.

Fair (1 star)
Rated R for profanity, crude humor, sexual references, drug use, and racial epithets.

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