The Legend of Zorro is so stodgy and slow, it makes even an out-of-control steam engine seem like nothing more than a lot of hot air.
The first Zorro movie with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones was playful and exciting, but this one is drab. Most of it has to do with their now-contentious relationship. So instead of sword fights, heroic entrances and guys swinging from ropes, Legend has divorce decrees, custody battles and spouses whining, "You never understood me." Not a good trade-off.
The mystery, which takes place about the time California is becoming a state, is as sturdy as the San Andreas fault. What with all the bad guys calling attention to themselves with their bad wigs, hissed threats and evil organizations with zippy logos, you'll have no trouble figuring it out. But the actors, who were so lively the first time around, seem too disinterested to bother.
The Legend of Zorro, like a lot of sequels, has an obligatory feel to it, a sense that nobody was particularly eager to make it. There's no passion for characters or the story, probably because you don't need passion to cash a paycheck.'The Legend of Zorro'
PG (sequences of violence/peril and action, language and a couple of suggestive moments). 130 min. Lexington Green, Regal, Woodhill.