The Legend of Zorro


Does anyone care that Martin Campbell has finally directed a sequel to his 1998 film The Mask of Zorro? Was anyone hanging out for this? The first film featured nothing exciting, except for perhaps the acting talents of Stuart Wilson (no relation) and the most gratuitous use of green screen ever.

The Legend of ZorroApparently there was more money to be made, and thus we have Banderas (Shrek 2) reprising his role as the western Robin Hood and Zeta-Jones (Ocean’s Twelve) as his feisty wife/sidekick. Rufus Sewell is here this time also, as well as a whole bunch of bit players who do their best at some bad accents.

Martin Campbell has a history of eschewing modern blockbuster movie techniques and actually keeping a lot of the action not only visible but CGI-free, and this at least can be said of The Legend of Zorro. Not once did I spot a badly animated Zorro jumping around, which is a boon amidst all the Star Wars and Harry Potter films that have graced our screens in recent years. There were a few too many ‘stunt double’ moments, but I suppose I can’t have it both ways.

It’s a pity that this film is so bad, because occasionally there are glimmers of hope. A particular stunt, or a moment of witty dialogue promises something more, but then suddenly we’re slapped in the face with a horrible cliché, and we remember that it’s a crap movie.

There was nothing here I hadn’t seen before, and it’s a pity that films like Batman Begins haven’t pushed others of the superhero genre to feature broader social or political contexts. On the other hand, I would be quite happy with a straight action film, as long as it featured some memorable setups and exciting action pieces. Alas, The Legend of Zorro does not. At least Campbell’s previous effort, The Vertical Limit, featured some awe-inspiring stunts (and Stuart Wilson yet again – still no relation), even amidst some fairly clichéd characters and a largely unexciting script.

If you liked the first film, then maybe this is for you. For me this was an 80 million dollar waste of my time.

Rating: 2.0 stars
Review by Stuart Wilson, 29th December 2005
Hoopla Factor: 1.0 stars

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