The Legend of Zorro
- Martin Campbell
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Monday, November 07, 2005
Alejandro (Banderas) is having marital problems with wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) because he seems to care a lot more about his heroic job than about his family and kid, Joaquin (Adrian Alonso). They separate and Elena finds herself, mysteriously, in the arms of Armand (Rufus Sewell), a prominent businessman who may have something to do with the trouble surrounding the possible incorporation of California to the United States, something that the people desperately want.
The movie starts in a pretty high note, with an election and Zorro saving the day. The sequence is exciting, well-shot and shows the completely human skills with which he handles himself and his enemies.
Yet from then on it all goes downhill. The first half of the movie is so bad I couldnít stop suffering from the burden it would be to sit through an entire second half. I donít know if they shot the movie in sequence and couldnít find the right tone until halfway throughout the shoot or what, but Iím talking about real bad. Scenes such as Alejandro and Elena fighting, a school fight involving Joaquin, a polo match between Alejandro and Armand, or a big party at Armandís beautiful estate, drag and drag forever and are horribly executed. Thereís bad dialogue, bad acting, bad staging, bad editing, bad everything. In the first movie there was a dance number between Alejandro and Elena that was its high point and left both the characters and the audience exhilarated. Here we get another dance sequence between both but this time theyíre fighting, and let me tell you, weíre bored.
Part of the problem with the movie is that for romance to take place, the writers had to create a whole plot regarding complications in Alejandro and Elenaís relationship, turning her into a real whiner. Then again, I have to admit that some of the scenes in the second half in which they have rude exchanges are good.
And yes, the second half is much better overall. Even if the movieís bad guys are lame and their motivations and origins even lamer, the movie finally takes off, with plenty of action scenes and suspense. I stopped looking at my watch for once and had a good time with it, especially during the whole train sequence.
Special mention to James Horner, who reprises his great score from the first movie, and actually makes this one look better than it really is. The photography is also quite something.
This movie is aimed directly at a family-friendly audience, especially young male kids. Thus, the humor is downgraded, as if kids werenít a bit more intelligent and couldnít handle a bit more brains. The performances go hand-in-hand with the tone of the movie, with Banderas and Zeta-Jones going for broad, if mostly unintentionally bad, comedy. But I guess thatís what they were required to do. And the kid, which is of the kind of movie kids that donít exist in real life, has charm, but tries too hard. An unrecognizable Rufus Sewell appears as the main, and uninteresting, villain.
A mixed bag.
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