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Deadpool reviews Zorro Nov. 11, 2004
Source: by: Deadpool

(positive / major spoilers)

Do you remember the summer of 1998? I still do. I used to go every Friday afternoon to catch a movie. That summer had some great movies: Saving Private Ryan, Air Force One, The Truman Show and Rush Hour. One of my favorite was The Mask of Zorro. The film made Antonio Banderas a household name, aside from being known as Mr. Melanie Griffith. It also marked the North-American debut of the sexy and lovely Catherine Zeta-Jones. After six years in development, the sequel has finally begun shooting. Entitled THE LEGEND OF ZORRO, the screenplay is penned by Alias writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman-Counter. They're currently one of the hottest duo in Hollywood thanks to their spec script The Island which Dreamworks-SKG has rushed to production. Their next assignment is rewriting Mission: Impossible 3. Martin Campbell has returned to direct the sequel along with cast members Banderas and Zeta-Jones who will be joined by Rufus Sewell, and newcomer Adrian Alonso. I'll be reviewing the third draft dated February 19th 2004.

Don Alejandro De La Vega (Antonio Banderas) is about to retire Zorro for good now that California has joined the United-States. Him and Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) have a 9 year-old son named Joaquin (Adrian Alonso). Federal agents Pike and Harrigan confront Elena one day. They offer her a deal: work for us or we’ll reveal to the world your husband’s secret. In order to protect young Joaquin, she accepts. She's asked to divorce Alejandro in order to being courted by an old flame, the villainous Count Armand (Rufus Sewell). Extremely jealous and unknown of Elena's true motives, Alejandro tries to get her back by anyway possible. Will it ruin Elena's undercover mission?

I enjoyed this screenplay from beginning to end. Whereas the story doesn't dwell too much into the events of the first film. The characters are still fresh and thrilling even after a long absence. Nowhere does the plot slow down or become tiresome. The action sequences sounds bigger and more breathtaking. While the character moments are written very well. The conclusion of this screenplay hints to a possible third installment. Will it feature Banderas and Zeta-Jones again? Maybe not…

Antonio Banderas must be having a blast reprising Zorro. His character is very comical and extravagant. I love Zorro's interaction with his horse Tornado. It seems poor Tornado only understands Spanish. Banderas has all the good lines and big laughs. I love his voice work on Shrek 2 as Puss 'N' Boots but Zorro doesn't become a parody like that character. Zorro has a funny and interesting confident in Padre Fray Felipe. He's also sort of like the conscience of Zorro, reminding him that the people still need his help. I also loved the fact that his son Joaquin thinks Alejandro is a weakling aristocrat. The discovery of his father's secret identity is a very sweet payoff.

I remember being quite impressed with Catherine Zeta-Jones in the first film. She had a real breakthrough performance. Her character is quite changed from the original film. It will be fascinating to see her playing a woman torn between wanting to protect her son and her husband's love. My only disappointment would be that I would have love to see a scene where Elena gets some sweet payback on Pike and Harrigan at the end. They forced Zorro's wife to divorce him and they basically get away with it. A little revenge on them would have been fun.

The villains are first-rate. Rufus Sewell will shine as Count Armand, a French aristocrat sleaze-ball, vying for Elena's affections. They also have a past relationship that brings an attractive facet to the love triangle. Ferroq, his man-servant, is one of those silent/badass villain. You can't wait to see what he's capable of. While the Bible-quoting McGivens, played by Nick Chinlund, keep getting his ass whooped by Zorro from beginning to end. He's the most menacing one of the bunch and he's got some great lines. He might one of those bad guys that steal the show from the main characters.

All the ingredients are here to make a serious splash at next year's box-office. The Legend of Zorro is another one of those entertaining but still intelligent pop-corn flicks. Make sure to catch it next September.

Jean-François Allaire a.k.a. 'DeadPool', at 25 years old, has become a respected entertainment journalist, having contributed articles to Scr(i)pt Magazine and Screenwriters Monthly. J-F also wrote a weekly movie column for Corona's Coming Attractions and eventually TNMC from 1998 to 2003. He's currently a script reader for a Canadian film distributor.

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