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Prison changes a man.,
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This review is from: The Legend Of Zorro [DVD] (DVD)
The Legend of Zorro is directed by Martin Campbell and is a sequel to the Mask of Zorro from 1998. It stars Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Michael Emerson and Nick Chinlund. James Horner scores the music and Phil Meheux is the cinematographer. Following on 10 years after the events of the first film, story sees Zorro (Banderas) looking like he is about to lose the love of his wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) as she starts questioning his commitment to her and their young son. With a shifty French aristocrat courting her, and California entering critical political discussions on if it should join the United States? Zorro has his hands full.
As any film fan will tell you, sequels to hugely popular movies are notoriously hard to get right. For every great one like Aliens or Godfather II, there are 50 to counter-act them with. Hopes for The Legend of Zorro being great were not high, where even with the publicity junket proclaiming it was to be bigger, more fun and better than the first film, nobody was seriously buying into it. Why? Firstly the gap of seven years wasn't a good sign. Secondly with Anthony Hopkins' character being killed in the first film, there was no chance of that wonderful turn being reprised. Thirdly the presence of a ream of writers involved in this sequel smacked of too many cooks spoiling the broth. As it turns out, the film isn't the stinker it was feared to be, but it still desperately lacks the zip and panache of the 1998 mentor/student take on the masked hero of the people.
Action wise, so in turn great stunt work and scene construction, Legend has much to enjoy. From the pulse raising opening as Zorro interrupts the California election, to the high speed steam train finale, film is a popcorn munching crowd pleaser. Problem is, is that in spite of Banderas and Zeta-Jones still sparking, narrative has them drifting away from the character strengths formed in the first film. The potential divorce aspect looks a good (fun) idea on the page, but with offspring sprog Joaquin (Adrian Alonso) grasping too much screen time, the family dynamic irritates where it should instead be moving up a gear. While the multitude of writers have come to the singular conclusion that this Zorro needs to get drunk, mope about and indulge in slapstick more often. Bad call. Still, the villains are strong enough, where Sewell is suitably smarmy and Chinlund dials quickly into the pantomime pulp required for such an action/adventure/comedy plot such as this.
Not as funny as it thinks or wants to be, but with such a good helping of action and adventure dotted throughout, film remains above average and worth the time of the undemanding thrill seeker. 6.5/10