Director Martin Campbell (who you may
remember from such films as Golden Eye, No Escape (with Ray
Liotta!), and Beyond Borders (the Masked Reviewer would like to
cross Angelina Jolie's borders...), as well as The Mask of Zorro)
takes the helm again for the sequel to his remake of a sequel.
Martin Campbell has gotten a fair bit of press because he'll be heading
up the next film in the James Bond franchise, too, Casino Royale.
If you didn't see
The Mask of Zorro, don't worry...you won't be lost. Here's
what you need to know: Antonio Banderas plays Zorro. Catherine
Zeta-Jones (how come it's not "Zeta-Jones-Douglas"?) plays Mrs. Zorro.
They've got a kid. They do good. They stop bad men from
oppressing people and stuff.
The notable no-show in the sequel is Anthony Hopkins, who
played...uh...Old Zorro...in the first movie. First generation
Zorro? Original Zorro? Zorro Classic? Who knows?
Anyway, there's no reference made to him at all in this sequel.
That's okay, he's probably too busy working on Bad Company 2 or
another Hannibal Lecter movie. Or maybe it's because he died off
in the first one.
There's also some kid that plays Zorro's son, Zorro Jr. Zorrito?
He's a little rapscallion, that one. Always getting into trouble.
He doesn't know his dad is Zorro, but he inherited the hatred of
oppression and the ability to do unnecessary back flips in fight
scenes...keep the tradition alive!
But the big question is: is Zorro a Snore-O? When it comes out
on DVD should you rush out to buy it at the Store-O? Is it so
funny that you'll laugh so hard you'll fall out of your seat and onto
the Floor-O? Will you be glad when it's over, or begging for
The film leaps right into some action. The action is good at
times, and there are a few cool moves. This time around he uses
his whip...although only as a means of getting around. Much like
Devo, he whipped it real good. There were of course a couple of
totally implausible scenes involving the whip (Miracle Whips), but the
Masked Reviewer can forgive that. He had the chance to use it on a
dog (could've been a Wippet), but he didn't. He never used it on
his uppity kid, either (whipper-snapper). And, lastly, Zorro never
hurt his neck by turning his head too fast when he whipped to the side
(whiplash). There. That covers the whip. Oh wait, he
also used the whip whenever his wife told him to, because he
was...well...you figure it out.
The biggest difference in tone between Mask and Legend
is comedy. This film tries to be much funnier, and it tries a bit
too hard in the beginning. Some of the comedic situations aren't
well executed, but they do get better as the film goes on. In
fact, the movie does get better as it goes on in every respect, which is
certainly better than the alternative. As the previews show, the
climax of the film takes place on a train...will the movie be a
metaphorical train wreck? Fortunately, no, it's saved at the end.
Much of the comedy revolves around the drunken jealous rantings of
Antonio Banderas. The rest of the laughs come from his horse.
Yes, the horse is the comic relief. It's contrived at first, but
the horse does steal the show in a couple of scenes.
The story itself is rather silly and implausible...it may remind you
of the unnecessarily convoluted Once Upon a Time in Mexico,
partly because both were set in Mexico, partly because both starred
Antonio Banderas, but mostly because, as previously mentioned in this
sentence, both were unnecessarily convoluted.
Not that there's anything wrong with being unnecessarily convoluted.
If you weren't a big fan of unnecessarily convoluted things, you
wouldn't be reading the Masked Reviewer's reviews.
But the Masked Reviewer digresses.
There's an awful lot of talking and not nearly as much action as you
might expect. It's formulaic, too, but definitely serviceable as a
no-brainer action flick. Catherine Zeta-Jones is beautiful, though
there are no particularly titillating moments. If you're an
Antonio Banderas fan, you'll get to see him on screen, but Little
Antonio does not make an appearance.
The music is good, but familiar. The effects are sometimes
noticeably fake...such as digitally rendered fire. Okay, sure,
they're not really going to have a baby lying on a plank with
real flames lapping up at it, but it could've used a bit more effort on
the realism front.
Speaking of realism (or lack thereof)...even though it's set in 1850,
there aren't very many characters that pack pistols. A couple do,
but most are still running around with swords. Sure, Zorro would
have a tough time against a guy with a gun, but it did seem
The Legend of Zorro falls somewhere between being
average and slightly above average. The execution is pretty good,
even though the parts are nothing special. It's nice to see a cool
new move or some variation on a tired theme, but there's not enough
that's fresh in it to make it something the Masked Reviewer would
If you're a huge fan of Zorro, this will definitely be up your alley.
As an action film, it's certainly okay, but uneven. It does get
better, but even if it had maintained its best moments all the way
through, it would still only be pretty good.
Expectation from the Title: The true life story about the
rarely mentioned fifth Marx Brother.
Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):
Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones would make a lovely couple,
but she should tell him that she's not really Mexican.
The Pros: Some amusing moments, a couple of good fight
The Cons: Not nearly enough action, too talk, uneven, slow
first half. Convoluted.
Antonnio Banderas, Katherine Zeta Jones,
Mask of Zorro, Joacim, Legend of Zoro, all right here.