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We saw "The Legend of Zorro" at our local theater tonight,
long-anticipating a sequel to a wonderful film featuring Antonio
Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. While hoping it would follow suit
with the first film, we were committed to going in with open minds.
Simply, the film does not match the robustness, passion or provocative nature of the first film. That does NOT mean it is a bad film - just different.
Strengths of the movie include admirable performing by the Alejandro and Elena stars. Clearly, their on-screen match-up was a great renewal. It was good to see them together again, though there was far less chemistry than they enjoyed in the first film.
The stunt work was fairly good, though some was a bit over-the-top and not particularly believable. All in all, though, it added a bit to the overall story.
The most disappointing aspects of the movie were select portions of the scripting and casting. For example, young Joaquin speaks in 2005 language - 150 years too early. Those creating the script should have restrained themselves, and used a bit more time to research the language of the era being portrayed in the story.
As to scripting: unless my eyes deceived me, one of the padres in the film (actually, Joaquin's teacher) appeared to be one of the Dons from the first film. I am unsure why this would have been a choice by the casting folks - and further unsure why it would be approved by the producer or the director.
Finally, the film seemed to drag out a bit - didn't need to be >2 hours long, in my estimation.
With all of this said, it is worth seeing. Just don't expect the blockbuster film that was the first "Zorro!"
If you don't like Saturday morning cartoons, children's adventure
movies, and silly fun, then don't bother seeing this film. Otherwise,
you'll have a good time.
The filmmakers take major liberties with history, human behavior, and the laws of physics, but it really doesn't matter. They're not going for realism. They wanted to make a flamboyant PG-rated kids' movie and succeeded. The characters all behave pretty much the way they do in kids' movies, and the cast is obviously having far too much fun.
Adults expecting a grown-up swashbuckler will be disappointed, but the adventurous kid in me really enjoyed it.
As a more than passing fan of the Zorro movies that span the decades, I had been waiting since 1998 for a sequel to Martin Campbell's 'Mask of Zorro.' That movie took much (though not everything) of the best of the various Zorro films, serials, and series and then stole from other sources (such as Dumas 'Monte Cristo', etc) to concoct a sexy, swashbuckling action adventure that had great pacing and strengths, with high production values and actors. Mr. Campbell and those high standards at last return to the story begun, and we now follow our heroes and their son as California fights to join a struggling Union. Zorro's character is not quite so impulsive and cool as he once was, but simply comfortable and ultra-capable, while his wife Elena complains that the man behind the mask knows not who their son is growing up to be. None of these character 'upgrades' felt wrong to me; it was natural extensions of them from the first film, despite how adventurous Elena claims to still be (and for the most part isn't), but it does make the first act of this movie a bit tiresome after the initial (awesome) action sequence. This time, though, as the story and its many plot-points begin to move, the writers borrow heavily from Hitchcock to keep things interesting. It doesn't always work, as there's a lot going on but never QUITE coming perfectly, cohesively together, but ultimately it makes sense and spins a good yarn for the fighting to take over. Meanwhile the stunt coordinators take what has already been done in the best Zorro flicks and then go wild with it, giving us stunts and action of old-school-cool caliber, such as stage-coaches, leaps and horses jumping on to explosive-laden locomotives. Unfortunately there is not quite enough action, and while I do like the over-all story - with its subtle bits of murk and dirty grays underneath the battle of white and black hats - it doesn't actually pace perfectly, giving us bickering Vega family exploits and Zorro failures for a rather large portion of the picture. The sword fights are fewer and more far-between than I would have liked, sometimes degrading to fisticuffs instead of proper dicing, but then the explosions almost make up for it all. The humor is a bit silly, provided mostly by the horse(!!) and the sometimes-annoying kid, but the audience ate it up. The villains are good, if never entirely fleshed out, and the themes are handled well. It's the lag caused by the idea (which I never understood) that 'once a couple gets together they're not interesting anymore' that slows things. Regardless of my small issues, the movie DOES deliver as a Zorro film, (with a good ending, for certain) and while it doesn't completely live up to its predecessor, it is a worthy sequel - just not entirely the direction I would have gone.
When I just was taking for granted that action films nowadays were about car, motorcycle and boat chases with ultra modern weapons, I went to see "The Legend of Zorro" and I had a great feeling. The sequence of the train at the end is fantastic. The fact that Zorro has his wife and son helping him in the fights adds more interest to the story, which is about the time when California was going to become a state and just before the civil war. When I read reviews about this film they were not so great, so I wonder what those critics were expecting. I know that people in the movie theater were having a lot of fun. It seems there is a tendency to judge all films by the parameters you would apply to an Ingmar Bergman. The Legend of Zorro has great action, if you like this kind of film don't miss it and don't pay attention to the critics.
I liked the film.
You aren't going to get a more aesthetic movie than this: the actors (wow, Antonio and Catherine Zeta both in the same movie -- Anjelina & Brad, eat your hearts out -- no contest!), the costumes, the lighting, the villa and townscapes, and the sheer beauty of the location, day and night.
Antonio looks a little more "mature" than I've seen him in awhile, but he's no less smoldering and charming on the screen. He's a natural for playing Zorro. The athleticism of Zorro is pretty impressive too. Lots of leaps, flips, and creative uses of his whip.
Catherine-Zeta is breathtakingly beautiful, as always. Those eyes of hers... It's enjoyable to see her in a maternal role. I love her costumes! It's good to see her multi-tasking.
Their son, Joaquim, is outstanding. Child stars usually make me gag, but this kid has genuine talent, and the person(s) filming and editing have admirably captured it.
The main bad guy (the one with the mansion) is intriguing as well. Not sure who he is but I hope to see more of him.
The other villain is, plain and simple, unidimensional, which is typical of adventure type movies. No surprises there. The way he meets his end is creative.
The Horse. Wow.
The political framework of the plot worked well for the movie.
If you're looking for a movie that entertains while being pleasing to the eye, check it out.
I was looking forward to this movie for months and personally I loved it. I laughed and cheered throughout the movie. If you want a Zorro adventure/action flick you will get it. Catharine Zeta-Jones role is enhanced and she gets to be more than a pretty face. I loved Elena's role as Zorro's partner as well as wife. The mini-me Zorro son was fine with me also and got lots of laughs from the audience. Good villains and great scenery from San Luis Potosi in Mexico. Good stunts especially with the horse. While some of the plot may seem unbelievable you must suspend belief and just sit back for a good time. The audience applauded at the end. Nice music too!
Zorro is back in action. This time he has to manage his family life and
the profession he has chosen, which is to rid of evil in the west. A
good action packed movie, but this one doesn't live up to the
expectations of the first one. Instead this does pull of a few good
action sequences, good stunts and good acting.
The Swashbuckling hero, Zorro(Antonio Banderas)comes out with great comic sense, he does his expressions and action in a very cool way. His wife Elena(Catherine Zeta-Jones)is very feisty and puts a good life against her husband. The space given between those two is very well done. The stunts are spectacular and a must see, mixed with the action sequences.
The only problem I faced while watching this movie was the plot, which proved to slow the movie down and extend it till the end. The dialogs were very nice but didn't seem to be so catchy either.
All in all this is a fun action movie and can be enjoyed by the whole family. The first one was more of a better adventure, where this one just dies along till the end. A Good 6.5 out of 10 for this one.
I am a mom of 5 children, so when I get a night out to see a movie I don't want to see a dud. When It is a date with your husband it is even tougher. It can't be too much of a chic flick and I don't want to see something too violent. It isn't easy to find a movie with some action (Dad) some romance (Mom) and some comedy (both). This movie did it. Now I am not saying it should get some academy award but I sure wish there were more movies like this. It was suspenseful without being gory. It was romantic and sexy without the sex (women love that). The addition of the child added a parent component that we liked. It really could be considered as a family movie for older children. I can't specifically recall any profanity (that doesn't mean there wasn't).This movie was definitely not a waste of a babysitter. It was also nice and long for those of us with a longer attention span who want a more developed plot. The story was interesting and entertaining and funny (if you catch it).
Antonio Banderas is back under the mask of Zorro, the 19th Century
swashbuckler who must face another dangerous mission, although he
promised his wife Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) that he'd give up his
life of adventure for a quiet family life as Alejandro de la Vega. But
those who opposed California becoming a state in the Union are planning
a new threat that might change their plans.
The Mask Of Zorro was a pretty good film. The sequel isn't as good yet it's still enjoyable. I personally would rather have the PG-13 rating but surprisingly the sequel didn't actually suck. I have to give credit to the cast and director. Martin Campbell knows how to direct action and he made this film very entertaining to watch. The story is a little weak and there isn't really anything new to found here but the action makes up for that.
The acting is solid just like the first one. Antonio Banderas takes the role of Zorro again and he does a good job. Catherine Zeta Jones returns as Elena and she also does a pretty good job. These two have a lot of chemistry together and they are interesting to watch on screen. The new addition to the cast and the person who almost ruined the film is Adrian Alonso. He plays Joaquin, the son of Zorro and Elena. He has a few funny lines but for the most part, he is really annoying. His role should have been cut since he almost ruined the entire movie.
Many people are complaining that the new rating kills the film and I disagree. The fight scenes are tamer and safer when compared to the original. He actually doesn't really use his sword to kill nor is much blood shown. However, the fight scenes are still pretty good and there are a lot of entertaining scenes like the train scene at the end. There were some boring scenes but they didn't last long. Also, the film is really cheesy and some of this does get annoying, nothing too major though. In the end, if you expect something like the original movie than you will end up disappointed. However, if you want something in the vein of National Treasure, a safe family action film, then this sequel is for you and it can really be enjoyed by adults too. Rating 6/10
Just saw this at an Advanced Screening the other day and must admit i
was not particularly looking forward to it. Mainly due to the fact that
i loved the original. I loved its tongue in cheek campness, its fun and
exciting action scenes, and Anthony Hopkins.
Thankfully LOZ has 2 out of the 3 (no Anthony Hopkins for obvious reasons) and while the film has clearly been dumbed down and made more "family friendly" as with all mainstream Hollywood sequels, it still has Banderas and Zeta Jones clearly having fun with it.
True, some of the CGI looks a bit naff, and there is a terribly unnecessary scene with a horse which made me laugh just because i would have cried because of the terrible effect, but the action scenes are action packed and use a fairly minimal amount of it.
As for the story there isn't really much to say of it, which is probably why it doesn't live up to its predecessors standards. But it trys well enough.
At the end of the day fans of the original Zorro film will probably enjoy this, as long as they don't expect it to be anything other than a fun popcorn sequel.
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