The Legend of Zorro – A Movie Review

I greatly enjoyed the film The Mask of Zorro, so when I heard they were finally going to follow it up, I naturally became quite excited.

Soon the previews arrived, and I started to lose my enthusiasm a bit.  Okay, Zorro’s married now with a ten-year-old in the sequel.  Okay, I can handle that.  I’d like to be a family man myself one day.  But then I saw the clips of Catherine Zeta-Jones swashbuckling right alongside her hubby, and then I got worried.  I feared this would be the legend of Zorro, Zorro-Woman, and Zorro, the Boy wonder.

I’m afraid I was right.  They took an iconic character and essentially made him second fiddle to his wife and child.  They never don a costume of any sort, mind you, but they definitely took up far too much screen time, in my opinion.

In this film we have Zorro facing marital problems, and, as a result, he takes to drinking and becomes quite bitter, even whiney at times.  What were they thinking?  If I wanted that kind of stuff I’d turn on Dr. Phil!  (That is not an admission to watching Dr. Phil, by the way.)

What happened to the days of Zorro fighting the bad guys with the quick quips and the incredible acrobatics?  I mean, I realize this is 2006 and I’m all for the wife doing a little fencing, but this film is called The Legend of ZORRO!  Not the Legend of Zorro’s Family.

So, the beginning was great, the middle was tedious and convoluted, the ending was clichéd.  Note to Hollywood, I’m tired of Old West train brawls.  I think the last time I enjoyed an Old West train brawl was Back to the Future III.

Finally, I like Antonio Banderas.  I think he’s a perfect Zorro.  But, the guy’s been in Hollywood for how long now?  Seriously, his accent in this film is nearly incomprehensible.  I get it, he’s a Californian pre-Union days, but there were moments when I had no idea what he was saying.  It got to be an issue.

I wanted to like this film, I really did, but after all was said and done, I’m afraid I just couldn’t recommend it in good conscience.