Movie Review

The Legend of Zorro

The Legend of Zorro Movie Poster

US Release Date: 10-28-2005

Directed by: Martin Campbell


  • Antonio Banderas
  • Don Alejandro de la Vega/Zorro
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Elena de La Vega
  • Adrian Alonso
  • Joaquin
  • Rufus Sewell
  • Armand
  • Gustavo Sanchez-Parra
  • Cortez
  • Giovanna Zacarías
  • Blanca Cortez
  • Raúl Méndez
  • Ferroq
  • Pedro Armendáriz Jr.
  • Governor Don Pedro
Average Stars:
Reviewed on: October 25th, 2005
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas in The Legend of Zorro.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas in The Legend of Zorro.

The Legend of Zorro is first and foremost a fun movie. Blithely ignoring historical accuracy, it manages to entertain on the pure adrenaline of its action, which is strongly supported by the chemistry between Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Ten years later then the events in The Mask of Zorro, we find that Don Alejandro de la Vega is still protecting the people of Southern California by donning the black mask and cape of Zorro. With the coming of statehood for their country as it joins the United States, his wife Elena hopes that at last he will be able to spend time with her and their ten-year old son. However, for Zorro there is never a rest.

Evil comes along this time in the form of French Count Armand (Sewell), who not only has dastardly plans for the country, but also has his eye on Elena, whom he knew as a teenager. When Elena and Alejandro split-up over the issue of his secret identity, Armand seems to waste little time in wooing her.

Meanwhile, the couple's son Joaquin, whose hero is Zorro, is disgusted with his father's milquetoast manner, and is unaware that his father and his hero are one and the same.

Zorro has been around in the movies for a very long time and it is a role that suits Banderas down to the ground. His accent and rugged good looks make him the perfect swashbuckler as he swordfights, does stunts on horseback, scales buildings and just generally behaves like what he is; one of the coolest characters in movie history.

The villain's plot is James Bondian in its scope and execution. Armand is member of a Spectre like organization and the movie even contains that classic Bond scene where a member of Armand's evil organization wants to quit and is killed by Armand instead. The story also involves Zorro sneaking into the villain's headquarters and, well, I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say that explosions play a big part of the movie's climax.

As in The Mask of Zorro, one of the best parts about this movie is the verbal sparring between Banderas and Zeta-Jones. They're so good that I wish there were more scenes of them together, but what scenes they do have together are some of the best in the movie.

Not that the movie's entirely perfect, but its strengths outweigh its weaknesses. One silly moment occurs late in the film when a speeding train is bearing down on a crowd gathered on the tracks to celebrate California's statehood. They can see the train from a long way away and since it's a train, all they have to do is walk maybe three feet to either side of the track and they'll be fine, but instead they mill about and scream, hoping to add tension to the scene. It's a small moment, but rather silly when you consider the suspense trying to be generated.

Full of action, this movie seems more like a summer blockbuster then an October release when we expect to see Oscar Contenders and horror films. Its release date might be a surprise, but it's a pleasant one and considering the dismal year at the box office, it's the type of surprise that Hollywood would do well to spring more often.

Reviewed on: October 28th, 2005
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas in The Legend of Zorro.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas in The Legend of Zorro.

The Legend of Zorro had me worried at the beginning. It starts with an over the top action sequence. In it, Zorro takes on a dozen armed men without ever using a gun himself. He does gymnastic flips and tumbles. It is almost done tongue in cheek. However, he loses his mask at the end of the fight and the tension level from then on rises to a suitable level.

The action is the foundation of the movie. Banderas has a great line during a sword fight scene. He does his trade mark "Z" on the bad guy and says, "So the devil will know who sent you." However, the train sequence Scott complains about is flawed. There is a hundred adults standing there but it takes a ten year old and a horse to figure out that all they need to do is to change the tracks?

My 9 year old is a huge fan of Zorro's. He has watched the first Banderas's Zorro movie many times as well as the 1940 Tyrone Power version. He raved about The Legend of Zorro for the rest of the day to his brother. Sitting in front of us at the theater was a very old couple. Apparently, Zorro has an ageless fan base. The Legend of Zorro is a great action flick that children and adults can enjoy together.

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