Having spent the last 10 years fighting injustice and cruelty, Alejandro de la Vega is now facing his greatest challenge: his loving wife Elena has thrown him out of the house! Elena has filed for divorce and found comfort in the arms of Count Armand, a dashing French aristocrat. But Alejandro knows something she doesn't: Armand is the evil mastermind behind a terrorist plot to destroy the United States. And so, with his marriage and the county's future at stake, it's up to Zorro to save two unions before it's too late.
Although it has its amusing moments, in eneral the plot does not convince.
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Like the great film, it's made with a great deal of visible affection both in front of and behind the camera.
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It is a whirlwind of delight --- attractive actors, stunning couture, spectacular sets and outrageous parties. It's a feast for the eyes. But what really makes this dramedy work is the acting.
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As so often happens with sequels of movies, this one falls far short of the 1998 film, "The Mask of Zorro." That was a reincarnation of the mythical character of Old California created by author Johnston McCulley (1883-1958). Since the first silent film, "The Mark of Zorro" that starred Douglas Fairbanks, Hollywood made at least one Zorro film every decade until this film in 2005.While this film keeps the same male and female leads as the 1998 film, it makes major story changes. The female lead is now the wife of Zorro (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones), who provides some of the swashbuckling. I can appreciate Hollywood going with the times and making films since the late 20th century about women in various adventurous, daring and female macho roles. We have had women heroes of derring-do as well as male from comic book stories (Superman, Superwoman, Batman, Batwoman, etc.). And, Hollywood creates an occasional new super-athletic female "fighting machine" of its own, as "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," played by Angelina Jolie. Those are fantasy fiction characters and stories, as are those with such male roles. But in "The Legend of Zorro," the female swashbuckler is a fantasy within a mythical story, or legend. The plot has a whole new look, and one that gets far-removed from the time the story is supposed to take place. Now, a fiery, sword-wielding female hardly needs the protection of a man. Indeed, she can save him. So, this film has sort of a role reversal and that plays against the aura and the mystic of the time, in Old California. It can't make up in other ways what it loses by this wholesale change of theme. So, this one doesn't work at all. Beyond some of the action that is fun to watch for how it is staged, there is very little to recommend this film.
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Everything 'The Mask of Zorro' did so perfectly the sequel screws up and then some. The original remains a thrilling and sexy swashbuckler that no film in its genre--not even the first 'Pirates of the Caribbean'--has matched.The sequel on the other hand is contrived, dumbed down, and worst of all, dull. It's an eye-rollingly juvenile movie that will have you sighing in frustration from the moment it begins.I think I may have to go and re-watch 'The Mask of Zorro' now just to get the taste out of my mouth. Not that I need an excuse to watch it. It's a classic.
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The Legend of Zorro is directed by Martin Campbell and is a sequel to the Mask of Zorro from 1998. It stars Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Michael Emerson and Nick Chinlund. James Horner scores the music and Phil Meheux is the cinematographer. Following on 10 years after the events of the first film, story sees Zorro (Banderas) looking like he is about to lose the love of his wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) as she starts questioning his commitment to her and their young son. With a shifty French aristocrat courting her, and California entering critical political discussions on if it should join the United States? Zorro has his hands full.As any film fan will tell you, sequels to hugely popular movies are notoriously hard to get right. For every great one like Aliens or Godfather II, there are 50 to counter-act them with. Hopes for The Legend of Zorro being great were not high, where even with the publicity junket proclaiming it was to be bigger, more fun and better than the first film, nobody was seriously buying into it. Why? Firstly the gap of seven years wasn't a good sign. Secondly with Anthony Hopkins' character being killed in the first film, there was no chance of that wonderful turn being reprised. Thirdly the presence of a ream of writers involved in this sequel smacked of too many cooks spoiling the broth. As it turns out, the film isn't the stinker it was feared to be, but it still desperately lacks the zip and panache of the 1998 mentor/student take on the masked hero of the people.Action wise, so in turn great stunt work and scene construction, Legend has much to enjoy. From the pulse raising opening as Zorro interrupts the California election, to the high speed steam train finale, film is a popcorn munching crowd pleaser. Problem is, is that in spite of Banderas and Zeta-Jones still sparking, narrative has them drifting away from the character strengths formed in the first film. The potential divorce aspect looks a good (fun) idea on the page, but with offspring sprog Joaquin (Adrian Alonso) grasping too much screen time, the family dynamic irritates where it should instead be moving up a gear. While the multitude of writers have come to the singular conclusion that this Zorro needs to get drunk, mope about and indulge in slapstick more often. Bad call. Still, the villains are strong enough, where Sewell is suitably smarmy and Chinlund dials quickly into the pantomime pulp required for such an action/adventure/comedy plot such as this.Not as funny as it thinks or wants to be, but with such a good helping of action and adventure dotted throughout, film remains above average and worth the time of the undemanding thrill seeker. 6.5/10
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The first film was very entertaining, with some well-choreographed sword fights and a witty script. The sequel while entertaining on the most part, is definitely inferior in comparison. What I did like about the sequel was the cinematography, it was very handsome like in the first film. The performances from Banderas and Zeta Jones are impressive , not so much the boy who played their son. (can't remember his name). The costumes were lovely The script wasn't too bad, but a little underdeveloped at times. I will confess I was disappointed in the sword fights, they seemed more like slapstick and a little too clumsy to my liking. The main flaw was the plot, it was a very good idea, but it felt rushed, and it felt as though the director was trying to cram too much into a simple storyline. I also wished they made the villains, played adequately by Rufus Sewell and Michael Emerson, more interesting. I liked the music by James Horner, but you do wish sometimes in the more dramatic scenes, that Hans Zimmer would have been a more appropriate choice. Overall, not bad, but doesn't hold a candle to the first film. 6/10 Bethany Cox.