We saw "The Legend of Zorro" at our local theater tonight, long-anticipating a sequel to a wonderful film featuring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. While hoping it would follow suit with the first film, we were committed to going in with open minds.
Simply, the film does not match the robustness, passion or provocative nature of the first film. That does NOT mean it is a bad film - just different.
Strengths of the movie include admirable performing by the Alejandro and Elena stars. Clearly, their on-screen match-up was a great renewal. It was good to see them together again, though there was far less chemistry than they enjoyed in the first film.
The stunt work was fairly good, though some was a bit over-the-top and not particularly believable. All in all, though, it added a bit to the overall story.
The most disappointing aspects of the movie were select portions of the scripting and casting. For example, young Joaquin speaks in 2005 language - 150 years too early. Those creating the script should have restrained themselves, and used a bit more time to research the language of the era being portrayed in the story.
As to scripting: unless my eyes deceived me, one of the padres in the film (actually, Joaquin's teacher) appeared to be one of the Dons from the first film. I am unsure why this would have been a choice by the casting folks - and further unsure why it would be approved by the producer or the director.
Finally, the film seemed to drag out a bit - didn't need to be >2 hours long, in my estimation.
With all of this said, it is worth seeing. Just don't expect the blockbuster film that was the first "Zorro!"
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