While this is a far cry from horrendous, The Legend of Zorro doesn’t do anything for the Zorro franchise as this mix of campy swordplay, Fight Club and Home Alone only spells disaster as it goes too far over that line from campy to occasionally absurd.
First thing, Sony really has their two Zorro titles backwards as The Legend of Zorro would have been a far better fit for the first film (The Mask of Zorro) considering there is nothing legendary about this movie. The first film dealt with the passing of the sword, so to say, as the original Zorro (Anthony Hopkins) guided Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) to become the new Zorro and protector of California’s soon-to-be statehood.
Instead this movie doesn’t deal at all with the “legend” of Zorro. Instead it deals with his home life, his nagging wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) complaining that he can’t quit being the masked savior and of course he then moves out and our story of deceit and mysterious explosions begins. Unfortunately the Tyler Durden follower in all of us (thank you Fight Club) can soon see baddie Armand (Rufus Sewell) has his own old school Project Mayhem going on as he plans to blow up the United States, or something to that effect.
The final piece of the puzzle fits in as we are introduced to Joaquin. If you remember from the end of the first movie, Elena and Alejandro had a son and young Joaquin is now 10 years-old and while he has no knowledge of his father’s secret identity he still manages to have the flair a young son of Zorro may have. Joaquin is played by Adrian Alonso, and he does just fine in the role, the problem is not the acting it is just that the introduction of a kid to the mix just seems a bit much considering the rest of the film.
As odd as it may seem I wish they had gone a little more cliche with the youngster and just had him play the part of the young boy in trouble, it would have helped with the overall flow of the plot. Not to mention, giving swashbuckling talent to the kid is just one more example of going too far. Especially when he takes out a few baddies himself. Gimmee a break.
I will concede that some of the action is fun and entertaining, but when a movie like this surpasses the two hour mark, with the majority of the action placed at the end, it really becomes a test of patience. Martin Campbell has recently been charged the duties of directing the next James Bond film, Casino Royale; I only hope he doesn’t take this long to flesh out that story because this smelled amateur all the way.