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The Legend of Zorro 2005

Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action...

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Zorro ROCKs lol
I've been waiting for seven years for this sequel, and, considering it was a sequel, I wasn't disappointed!
I hate it when Disney buys a franchise and pukes all over it. The Mask of Zorro was far more interesting and a little darker. Cheesy doesn't begin to cover the amount of formula crap and bad puns they crammed into this movie. The only redeeming value about the whole thing was the dynamic between Zorro and Elena. Also the name Alejandro De Lavega rolls right of the tongue. It's a very family friendly the kids will love it and the parents won't mind kids wathing since its not overly violent etc... They should have also aged the kid a little more, as a six year old or whatever he was doing things that were too unrealistic to someone that age. Anyway, a renter for a young family not much more, unless you like formula hollywood crap.
As sequels go, The Legend of Zorro is pretty damn ambitious: you can tell from the press interviews given by the two leads, Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, how they really believed that they'd waited for the exact right opportunity, script, director and what-have-you to follow on from the original Mask of Zorro from 1998. Having never seen Mask, I'm probably not the best judge if this is a powerful, adequate sequel. However, I'm not too hopeful that it is, since my rule for excellent sequels is that, unless clearly meant to be part of a larger whole (e.g., the Lord of the Rings trilogy), it ought to be able to stand on its own. Unfortunately, as movies go, Legend is pretty much a paint-by-numbers blockbuster, pretty and glossy to look at, self-aware but never quite daring enough to justify the ludicrous loops the meandering plot frequently takes. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.

The year is 1850, seven years on, in real and screen time, from Mask... but Alejandro Delavega (Banderas, a little long in the tooth but still credible in the role - just) - in spite of advancing age and a new little addition to the family in the form of cheeky chappie Joaquin (Adrian Alonso) - continues to swash his buckle as helpful town vigilante Zorro. When he tries to get around his promise to his noble-born wife Elena (a ravishing, radiant Zeta-Jones) that he will give up his mask once he has secured freedom for the state of California in having it join the union of America, she has a big bust-up with him. All she wants is for Joaquin to be safe, and for Alejandro to spend more time with his son and get to know him better. The couple part in blazing temper, only to be quickly embroiled in the murky politics and espionage of the time: before long, Elena has mysteriously served divorce proceedings on Alejandro, and the next time he sees her, some three months later, she's being squired around town by slimy French count Armand (Rufus Sewell), who, as Alejandro eventually discovers, is hiding an industrial-size secret that threatens to strike at the heart of the already shaky union on which America is in the process of founding itself.

Certainly the project must have been impressive--at least on paper--for the original cast (including Zeta-Jones, a star who's since gone stratospheric) to all have signed on that dotted line. And in rare moments littered through the movie, you do get to see the sparks of brilliance Legend sorely needed to become a proper event in its own right, instead of the slightly empty, trudgingly predictable collection of moments that it is now. The main problem faced by Legend is its overreaching ambition: it just can't seem to decide if it's an intimate family drama (father doesn't spend enough time with drifting, disillusioned kid), a political potboiler (how Alejandro and Elena both feature in Armand's scheme to almost literally derail America), or a brainless action blockbuster (Zorro gotta fight, somersault, and kick guys in the nuts... and that goes for his feisty wife too!). In trying valiantly to be everything at once, the movie simply comes up short on all counts: Alejandro and Elena spend more than two-thirds of the movie apart, which, in spite of the smouldering chemistry of the leads, means that there are far too few moments of shared screen-time to spark a genuine sense of marital crisis or marital anything really. Joaquin is an adorable addition to the family, but his emotional journey is so pat and unoriginal as to be disappointing (he thinks his dad is hopelessly uncool and undeserving of Elena, only to finally discover that--whoo!--daddy's Zorro, dude!). The political stuff is, frankly, bizarre and not entirely engaging: rather than evincing any sense of genuine danger or giving the audience an idea of the true extent of Armand's network, everything he's up to is reported in one line of dialogue and several boxes of soap. Sigh. Doesn't help that the villain is as retarded as you'd expect: nope, no shades of grey here, Armand is flat-out evil and the kind of villain so stupid he doesn't check to make sure Zorro's dead before whisking off the martial-arts-trained wife and resourceful son of his nemesis. Granted, the action set-pieces were great, beautifully-choreographed dances; I especially liked that Zeta-Jones got to do quite a bit of duelling and ass-kicking, and some of Alejandro's stunts were lovely to behold. But, towards the end, after the umpteenth slamming of Armand about a train, it got increasingly boring.

It's also regrettable that the sly vein of humour that occasionally rears its head in the film--so essential to make run-of-the-mill blockbusters like this stand out among the crowd--isn't more judiciously employed. Indeed, except for one hilarious occasion, it rears up at small, unnecessary moments that can easily be counted as annoying after a while. For instance, I certainly could have done without all the odd jokes injected into the movie involving Alejandro's faithful black steed, which, as indicated, can't understand English, drinks and smokes with merry abandon. In the end, the movie was too darn earnest where it sorely needed some levity i.e., its meticulously-planned but rather rubbish plot. There are also one too many cringey, cheesy scenes in the movie to be easily forgiven: I didn't need one of Banderas emoting in the church, begging to be given the strength to put on his mask one more time. Dude, I want my action heroes out there kicking ass! Not having poorly-written sensitivity sessions that belong in a chick flick!

Okay, I must admit that I sound pretty harsh in this review so far... but honestly, when you think of what could have been achieved, even in terms of star wattage alone (keep your unbelievably sexy leads in the same scene, why don't you!!), it's hard to not be disappointed with the film, trite and predictable as it is. But, and here's a big but here, there are some great moments in the film, and one scene in particular, involving Zeta-Jones and a white pipe ("you take my breath away!"), almost makes the price of admission worthwhile. As Elena struggles to distract the besotted Armand, the furious Alejandro, hidden in the archway of the balcony, makes disapproving, jealous faces, all in deliciously funny mime. The banter between Elena and Alejandro, when they're actually in the same room, is often so well-delivered and sharp that it makes me ache for a different movie in which they get to spend a great deal more time together. Alas, for this was not to be. As a former X-Phile, though, I must also admit to having a total "who's that guy?" moment with Nick Chinlund as Armand's gofer McGivens until I saw the credits, but I must single out his gleefully over-the-top performance as being one of the more enjoyable in the show.

If director Martin Campbell had seen fit to shave about half an hour of the movie (at over two hours, it far overstays its welcome), punch up the jokes and the shared screen-time, we could be looking at a much improved, sweeter and more engaging movie. Instead, we're left with a wannabe romantic/comedy/action blockbuster, that hardly does justice to any one of those genres. Shame.
This movie was very disappointing for me.
-I really loved the first film, and this one just didn't live up to it whatsoever.

The first film had a charm about it that made it much more enjoyable than this sequel. Also, the characters were much more engaging and were developed much better. Plus, the plot was just a lot more fun.

In this sequel, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous.
-Things start with Zorro making an appearance close to that of a celebrity, and it kind of ruins the mystery/legend behind his character... which I found to be a stupid move on the director's part.
-Next, the plot is just stupid. The two leads are forced to divorce in order for her to spy on evil people that want to take over the country with explosives. Wow.
-Lastly, the stunt work is overdone. The first film handled things nicely, but that's not the case with this sequel.

Oh, and also, I found the son to be rather annoying.

I suppose I still managed to somewhat enjoy the film, though... even with all of its flaws. See it if you want, but don't expect much.
Ok i finished the first of a few Halloween videos from the RT Party last Friday night. Here is the link to Video #1! I will try to get shots of everyone I missed into the next one!

Rotten Tomatoes Halloween Party


Enjoy!

P.S. you may need to download it rather than stream until I create an http link. Also someone with decent bandwidth might post it up on another site. Mine seems to be rather slow with several connections going.
The Legend of Zorro (2005) -- "If you didn't know me better than that, you didn't know me at all." - Elena

Zorro -- it's a family thing.

1850's California is in the process of voting to join the Union. Amid all the excitement of statehood, the War Between the States looms on the horizon and Confederate forces see California's entrance as tipping the scales against them. A bizarre plot unfolds to keep California out of the Union while the Confederates work to launch a surprise attack on Washington: The fate of the young country hangs in the balance. Meanwhile, there's trouble at home for Zorro, a California resident and family man. The Mrs. is holding him to his pledge to hang up his mask as soon as the vote to join the Union is counted. Zorro, sensing something amiss, must choose between his family and his life as a hero.

Antonio Banderas is perfectly suited for the job of Zorro and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Elena) is the perfect foil as Zorro's wife. The ten-year old son, Joaquin (Adrian Alonso) was the biggest surprise. There's some real nasty meanies in this story as well.

The plot is a bit ponderous, but the writing is often clever (and funny). It's easy to warm to the pace of the film and it does get better and better as it goes. Cinematography is picturesque and the sound is big orchestra, as the wide open west should be. Of course, there are cowboys with swords, but it's pretty easy to get used to that, too because the sword fighting scenes are just great!
The Legend of Zorro

Initial Reaction: Better than the "Legend of Zero"

FINAL SCORE: 53.33% THUMBS DOWN

Main Characters

Zorro/Alejandro de la Vega: He's our hero of the California people played by Antonio Banderas.

Elena: She's Zorro's wide played by Catherine Zeta-Jones

Joaquin: He's Zorro's and Elena's kid. He is played by Adrian Alonso.

Armand: He's a wealthy man who owns a vineyard. He's played by Rufus Sewell.



Plot Summary

It starts off with a historic vote -- the vote to either let California into the Union or not. The votes are cast, and the ballots are stolen by a thug named McGivens. Zorro shows up and stops McGivins and gets the ballot back.

However, when Alejandro/Zorro returns to his wife, she's furious. She wants him to spend more time with her and the kid, Joaquin. They have an argument, he goes off, and the next day or so, she files divorce papers.

Months later, a vineyard opens up and the owner takes Alejandro's ex-wife as his "escort" (wife wannabe). Alejandro makes a fool of himself because he's drunk which further separates him and his ex-wife.

Meanwhile McGivins is going around town, terrorizing people and taking their lands. Turns out he's part of a big plan to strike at the hart of the Union with a secret weapon.

Also, there are questions about Armand involvement in this "secret weapon."



SCORING
Main Characters

The two leads, Elena and Alejandro are great together when they bicker about their breakup. They love each other, then they don't.

The kid -- eh, he's just an average kid who gets lucky.

And as for the villain, he okay as a guy who tries to pretend he's a completely innocent bystander. SCORE: 8



Supporting Cast

There's a thug who's very good at annoying people (good) and the standard bunch of henchmen who can't fight or hit the broad side of a barn (bad) SCORE: 5.



Plot

This film bends itself out of shape trying to get the two leads together at the wrong times. It also gets very complicated about Elena's new love and the secret plan to tear apart the union. There's a predictable ending to boot. SCORE: 3



Originality

There have been several Zorro stories or movies, but this is the first one to really take a look at his personal life. SCORE: 8



Violence Factor

There's very bad shots made by villains, guys who swing swords and miss all the time, and explosions all over the place. Where are all the good fighters? SCORE: 3



Other Moral Issues

This movie is supposed to be about a Zorro's/ Alejandro's responsibilities as a hero and a father, but that is overshadowed by the story. SCORE: 5



Final Score (out of 60): 32 % Score: 53.33%

The sword fights got ridiculous and tiring, the story was confusing and the ending was too predictable.
A great tongue-in-cheek adventure--thriller. Suspend your belief and enjoy a family of superheroes.

The Legend of Zorro (2005)

This movie was a huge surprise. While I didn't expect to hate, I did expect to be very disappointed. When I heard this movie was going to be rated PG I though the worst immediately. I just knew the franchise was going to be destroyed. A sequel should never be rated below it's predecessor. SEE: The Whole Ten Yards, RoboCop 3, Conan the Destroyer, etc. They're almost all universally hated. Honestly, I didn't feel this movie was any less violent than the previous movie. There wasn't really any stabbing but it still felt like a PG-13 movie. Now I really enjoyed the first movie so seeing the familiar characters back on the screen was nice to see.