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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.45%
Worth A Look: 14.55%
Pretty Bad: 16.36%
Total Crap: 1.82%

7 reviews, 13 user ratings

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Legend of Zorro, The
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by William Goss

"You Know, For Kids"
3 stars

Unless someoneís beaten me to it, I must ask this question: when did Zorro become such a pussy? At some point in the past seven years, he has transformed from a noble sword-wielding folk hero into an amazingly mild avenger whose deeds have devolved into bloodless slapstick of a most theatrical nature.

The Legend of Zorro opens with a borderline flamboyant stunt sequence that sets the tone for the sequel and makes two things painfully clear: Zorro has indeed become a puss in boots, and his story has become considerably tamer as well.

Speaking of story, letís get that out of the way: Alejandro (Antonio Banderas) is losing touch with his family, since his crime-fighting habits as Zorro are eroding their relationship. Not spending enough time with either her or their son, Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) divorces him. However, her new suitor, Armand (Rufus Sewell), is up to no good, and with California on the verge of statehood, Alejandro must once more don his legendary persona to save the day.

After a while, the film is on the move, taking its time getting from fight excus- sorry, predictable plot point A to predictable plot point B. Running just over two hours, a sizable trim might have made a decent summer flick out of this, but the film manages to meander regardless. It has particularly stumbles when trying to convince the viewer that a) the masses would be so excessively eager of Californiaís impending statehood, and b) that Alejandro and Elena would be so excessively eager to lock lips as often (and as hungrily) as they do under the circumstances. Occasionally, the wordplay turns out to be sharper than the swordplay, but both arguments and fight scenes seem to be excessively staged and elaborately choreographed to the point of little enjoyment. The filmís PG rating results in very few deaths and scenes in which enemies are dispatched, but nary a drop of blood is shown. Not all action sequences require bloodshed, but it robs the proceedings of a certain edge that makes matters genuinely exciting.

Banderas is merely going through the paces as Zorro, who becomes less of the focus in his own movie than he should. Zeta-Jones spares audiences of plugs for Z-Mobile, but she is likewise unenthused with her expanded role. As the French villain, Sewell is as blandly brooding as ever, with quite the sporadic accent to boot. Then thereís the kid, Joaquin (newcomer Adrian Alonso), the puppy of a sidekick who spouts out lame lines and only serves a purpose when convenient. His classroom scene, in which he emulates Zorroís tactics with an assault on his schoolteacher, establishes his spectacular knack for nerve grating. The kid, like most elements of the film, exists solely to appeal to a younger audience. The film is dictated by its rating, which dampens the entire affair and erases any chance for real adventure. There is never anything at risk because the characters, and the movie, always play it safe. Soon enough, itís onto the climactic showdown aboard a moving train, which offers up the yearís hokiest equine reaction shot and a near-gratuitous explosion, and then everything is wrapped up neatly with a typical ending which very much resembles the conclusion of Spider-Man 2.

Yet, despite all its family-friendly faults (and several shoddy CG shots), Legend is still passable entertainment, a much more tolerable option than the strikingly similar Mummy sequel (especially the nearly-identical scene in which the kid, aboard a train, tells the villain how his father is going to kick his butt). Going in with expectations for a Zorro flick, you get just what you expect, only in a weaker form. Sure, itís long, itís plodding, itís predictable, and itís inferior to the original, but there is still a minimal amount of fun to be had.

Look at it this way: at least itís not 'The Mummy Returns.'

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originally posted: 10/28/05 14:39:23
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User Comments

1/15/09 Shaun Wallner Very Interesting 4 stars
4/30/06 Joe Smaltz modern crappy special effects, (flying people and shit) 1 stars
3/22/06 J. L. Chambers A special Zorro movie. Asking for more is absurd. 5 stars
2/14/06 ES First one sucked a little harder than this one, still see it for free or not at all 2 stars
12/29/05 ALDO NOT BAD... 3 stars
12/22/05 tina mateer at least i did not fall asleep-so-so movie 3 stars
12/15/05 Big C This film was non stop action, the way a Zorro film should be! 5 stars
12/14/05 Corinne Boring, senseless, and ho hum sequel 2 stars
11/18/05 malcolm the kid was the best part. a lot of fun, overall. 3 stars
11/12/05 HLM Fast Paced - not bad 3 stars
11/07/05 Koitus Zeta-Jones is as mesmerizing as ever! ;-) Good flick; quite a few FUNNY scenes! 4 stars
10/31/05 Quigley th action sequences are really spetacular sometimes. banderas is absolutely awesome. see it 5 stars
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  28-Oct-2005 (PG)
  DVD: 31-Jan-2006



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