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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.45%
Worth A Look: 14.55%
Just Average61.82%
Pretty Crappy: 16.36%
Sucks: 1.82%

7 reviews, 13 user ratings

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Legend of Zorro, The
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Oh boy-another contractural-obligation sequel!"
2 stars

There have definitely been worse sequels than “The Legend of Zorro,” the follow-up to the 1998 hit “The Mask of Zorro,” but few in recent memory as dull and desultory than this tiresome exercise. This is a film that appears to have been made for one reason and one reason only; Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were contractually obligated to do a sequel and Sony was hell-bent on exploiting that obligation at any cost. The result is little more than a filmed deal, although I dare say that most Hollywood contract negotiations offer better thrills than the one on display here.

This time around, California is vying for statehood and a group of Eurotrash rotters, working with religious zealots and the Confederacy, are attempting to destroy America and put everything under the kind of one-world order usually described in the more paranoid and only Zorro (Banderas) can help the former and prevent the latter. Sadly, the dope has promised wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) to stop his swashbuckling activities so as not to endanger her or their son (Adrian Alonso). When he refuses, they divorce and Elena is soon stepping out with Armand (Rufus Sewell), an effete Frenchman who seems to be in on the conspiracy. Of course, if you have seen “Notorious,” you will quickly be able to figure out exactly what Elena is doing as it is almost a direct rip-off, though I suspect that screenwriters Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orsi–whose “original” screenplay for “The Island” inspired much debate about where it derived from–are working under the impression that they are actually stealing from “Mission: Impossible 2.”

Even though there is barely a scene that doesn’t involve some chase, explosion or bout of swordplay, the only surprising thing about “The Legend of Zorro” is how boring it is. The action sequences are both wildly overscaled and put together in the shoddiest manner possible–a surprise, since director Martin Campbell showed a clean eye for such scenes in both his previous Zorro film and “Goldeneye.” The screenplay makes about every major mistake that a sequel script can, from laboriously repeating the more popular bits from the original to the addition of a thoroughly repulsive child in a misguided effort to broaden the film’s appeal. In general, adding a kid to an already established dynamic is almost always a bad idea (it certainly didn’t help Nick and Nora Charles or Indiana Jones any) but it really doesn’t help to make the kid such an annoying little twerp that he makes the kid from “The Dick Van Dyke Show” looks like a cherub by comparison.

And while it is a relief to not have to deal with another embarrassingly hammy Anthony Hopkins performance this time around, the others are so lifeless that you almost begin to wish that he would drop by to camp it up–Banderas comes off as oddly uncharismatic (he demonstrated more fire and bravado as the Zorro-infused Puss N Boots in “Shrek 2") while Zeta-Jones drifts through her role as though she is just killing time until her next cell-phone ad. The only fun from the performances comes from laughing at the messy attempts at accents–Banderas does his Spanish-inflected Mexican, Zeta-Jones barely bothers to convert her Welsh brogue into Spanish and the British Sewell contributes a “French” accent that makes one long for the linguistic fidelity of the Inspector Clouseau films.

What really annoys me about “The Legend of Zorro” is the complete lack of enthusiasm for the project that is displayed by all involved. Nearly every scene seems to have been shot and performed with a minimal amount of energy and that lethargy is more than obvious throughout. If they can’t be bothered to work up any excitement for doing the film that they are presumably being paid zillions for in the first place, how can they possibly expect those in the audience to do the same?

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13440&reviewer=389
originally posted: 10/28/05 00:32:12
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User Comments

1/14/09 Shaun Wallner Very Interesting 4 stars
4/29/06 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
12/21/05 tina mateer at least i did not fall asleep-so-so movie 3 stars
12/14/05 Big C This film was non stop action, the way a Zorro film should be! 5 stars
12/13/05 Corinne Boring, senseless, and ho hum sequel 2 stars
11/17/05 malcolm the kid was the best part. a lot of fun, overall. 3 stars
11/12/05 HLM Fast Paced - not bad 3 stars
11/06/05 Koitus Zeta-Jones is as mesmerizing as ever! ;-) Good flick; quite a few FUNNY scenes! 4 stars
10/30/05 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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