The Legend of Zorro opened on this date in 2005. The film is a sequel to The Mask of Zorro (1999) and stars Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It was directed by Martin Campbell.
Zorro, played by Antonio Banderas, is trying his best to retire his dangerous swashbuckling ways. The masked sword fighter is having a hard time giving up his vigilante duties and it is hurting his bond with his wife, played by Catherine Zeta Jones, and his young son. A threat arises that pushes Zorro and his family into action and threatens their lives and relationships.
- There are a few nicely choreographed action scenes. Overall the action sequences are definitely the best part of the film—but they are a step down from the previous Zorro adventure.
- Banderas and Zeta-Jones have a few scenes together that really highlight their chemistry and remind you of how good they both were in their first Zorro film together.
- The tone of the film is a lot sillier than the previous adventure. The tone of The Mask of Zorro (1998) was uneven at times, but the levity and drama were both handled well. The Legend of Zorro (2005) relies far too much on comedy and it is handled like a bad television sitcom.
- The Legend of Zorro gives a lot of time to Zorro’s son and unfortunately he is consistently annoying. The young actor doesn’t give a bad performance, but there isn’t much for him to do except get in trouble and act like a brat. Every franchise seems obsessed with giving a young son or daughter to its main protagonist, and it very rarely works well. Zorro didn’t need a son, especially if it was going to be handled like this.
- Banderas and Jones had great chemistry in their first Zorro film together and here they seem to be sleepwalking through their performances, for the most part. The Legend of Zorro was released 7 years after The Mask of Zorro and you can feel that long break in the lead actors’ performances. You get the sense that nobody really wanted to be there.
The Mask of Zorro (1998) was a solid adventure and a great throwback to the serials it was based on. The Legend of Zorro (2005), however, is a huge disappointment. The whole project from its script to direction feels lethargic and mechanical. Nobody seemed to be having fun when they made The Legend of Zorro, especially Antonio Banderas & Catherine Zeta Jones; because of this, I found the whole affair a struggle to get through.