The Legend of Zorro
Released: 6th Mar
Has it really been 7 years since The Mask of Zorro before we got a sequel?
The new film, though packed with action, lacks some of the pace and charm of its Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated prequel. The simmering romance is replaced with snappy banter and an air of slapstick. Zorro, now the family man, doesn't seem to butcher his way through those gringos like he used to.
The irrepressible Zorro, masquerading as landed gentry Don Alejandro de la Vega (Antonio Banderas) is now married to his Elena (Catherine Zeta Jones) and they have been living peacefully for the last 10 years with nobody any the wiser. The couple's son, Joaquin (Adrian Alonso), is oblivious that his father is the timeless peoples hero, Zorro.
Not yet a State, California is on the brink of joining USA, seemingly the end of the fight for our hero. Not everyone, however, is prepared to let the family settle down and enjoy the quiet of peacetime. Enter suave, well dressed, Frenchman Armand (the marvellous Rufus Sewell), and his malicious and wooden-toothed lackey, Jacob McGivens (Nick Chinlund) and his claw wielding malevolent manservant.
Since Zorro must protect the people, family must take second place. This leads the couple into marital strife (which provides some excellent dialogue between Zeta Jones and Banderas) and Elena leaves our hero for the Frenchman. Now bitter, drunk and lovelorn, Zorro discovers that the seemingly charming Armand is part of a global conspiracy plotting against California and discovers a scheme involving McGivens taking land from the people. It's all very 'meat and two veg', and unfortunately lacks the sparkle of it's predecessor, but this is far more of a family move than the original and if that's what you're looking for look no further.
Catherine Zeta Jones is voluptuous, can fence like a demon, has whip-crack delivery and smoulders along as Banderas's equal under an array of frumpy frocks. Banderas is as dashing as usual (the housewives favourite) with his wink, grin, smooth banter and latino poise. Even their young Mexican son is a talented little heart stealer that raises a smile when on screen. All excellent, but the finest performance comes from Toronado the horse, who entirely steels the show.
Director Martin Campbell, renowned Bond director, has another money-spinner on his hands. If you liked the first one, you'll like this one.
Director And Cinematographer Commentary, Deleted Scenes With Optional Directors Commentary, Behind The Scenes Featurettes, Stunts, Visual Effects, Armands Party, Playing With Trains, Two Multi Angle Scene Deconstructions