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Sequel masked in mediocrity
By Allegra Farina
Thursday, October 27, 2005
The Legend of Zorro is the much-anticipated follow up to the 1998 blockbuster The Mask of Zorro, a film responsible for launching the career of its breakout star, Catherine Zeta-Jones. The formula for the sequel is in keeping with the first film, but it is not quite as entertaining.
It's been 10 years since Alejandro (Banderas) first donned the mask of Zorro, efficiently defending California on its way to becoming the 31st state of the Union. Now he has promised his wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) that he would give up his role as the people's hero and dedicate his life to her and their young son Joaquin, (played by the film's breakout star, 11-year-old Adrian Alonso). But a chain of events, set off by the emergence of a deceptive old flame (Rufus Sewell) from Elena's aristocratic past, threatens to destroy not only their marriage, but also the future of the United States.
While the film has all of the makings of a fall blockbuster - an all-star cast, a multi-million dollar budget and a loyal fan base - it doesn't quite live up to the buzz. The jokes are simply too ridiculous and not nearly as clever or as charming as the first film's, and the plot has one too many twists that lead to an ultimately dissatisfying conclusion.
The film lacks originality, relying too heavily on playful period adventure films from the past few years. The action sequences, which have been updated in a post-Matrix film world, fall flat when unsuccessfully reused.
Every attempt to recreate the action, romance and humor the first film so successfully wove together, The Legend of Zorro is yet another sequel that does not meet, let alone exceed expectations.
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