Monday, October 24, 2005


THE LEGEND OF ZORRO takes great production design, decent actors (Rufus Sewell, Catherine Zeta Jones, Antonio Banderas) and an iconic character and throws them away on one of the most asinine scripts I have seen on screen. The faithful plot, dash and wit of the original Banderas-Jones movie have been replaced by inferior physical comedy and a incredible, anachronistic plot. The basic idea is that it is ten years after the first movie. Zorro and his missus are married with a mini-Zorro in tow. She wants him to hang up his mask and be a devoted father: he needs the adoration of the crowd and the thrill of the chase. She demands a divorce, gets a swish French lover, and both uncover a plot to tilt the balance of power in the forthcoming American Civil War. The only innovation that works is the introduction of mini-Zorro, played with élan and superb comic timing by Adrian Alonso.

You know it’s going to be a duff ride when the opening scene has the bad guy fall balls-first onto a cactus plant. That supposition is only strengthened when, in a desperate and misguided attempt to appear topical, another bad-guy starts talking about developing a new Weapon of Mass Destruction that will be used in a pre-emptive strike on Washington. Needless to say, Zorro will try to stop him and put those oppressed Californian peasants on the road to democracy as they join the United States. Seriously. That is how ham-fisted the politics of this movie are. Believe me, no amount of hackneyed chase scenes or sword-swinging can make up for that kind of nonsense.

THE LEGEND OF ZORRO is on global release.

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