The Legend of Zorro: Special Edition
DVD Reviews | Feb 2nd, 2006
Starring Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Nick Chinlund, Rufus Sewell, Adrian Alonso
Written By: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Terry Rossio, Ted Williams
Directed By: Martin Campbell
Buy on Amazon.com link
I’ve only seen the first updated Zorro movie twice. I didn’t get a chance to see the sequel in theaters so I was looking forward to watching this movie on DVD. Who doesn’t love a good old fashion swashbuckler action/adventure movie? Well if you don’t, you suck! The Legend of Zorro is a fun sequel starring Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones & Rufus Sewell, and i’m sure the movie will please audiences.
The film takes place ten years from the Mask of Zorro. It starts out like the first one did, Zorro saving the day and appeasing the crowd. Alejandro, aka Zorro, (Antonio Banderas) and his beautiful wife Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) are now parents to a young troublesome boy named Joaquin (Adrian Alonso). Elena gets mad that Alejandro is never around to see the boy or her and he’s off being Zorro. So she leaves him and ends up hanging out with the bad guy of the movie, Count Armand (Rufus Sewell). Ehh women, right? Plus his son doesn’t like his Father right now since he’s never around and doesn’t stick up for himself (or so it seems to him). That leads Zorro to go on a drunken bender and he mistakenly finds out that Count Armand is up to no good. Zorro has to two tasks at head, saving California from a terrorist and winning his family back.
The sequel to Mask of Zorro was just as enjoyable as the first movie and that’s all you can really ask for in a swashbuckling movie. Yes, there were flaws to the movie, like the story wasn’t as interesting as the first film, and the film just seemed a little bit watered down. But I still found the movie to be quite entertaining and I just love sword fighting/adventure movies. There were a lot of things I enjoyed like more one-liners or humor added into the movie. There was more interaction with Zorro and his black stallion, and the horse seemed to be more active as well. Even though there was humor in the first film, this one seemed like it had more. Which could be bad or good, depending how you look at it. Good in the sense that there was more things to laugh at. Bad, in the sense the filmmakers are trying to make the movie more hokie. The action is what is going to make people watch the movie. I loved the ending with the train with the sword fighting & other stunts. I thought the acting was okay, nothing too spectacular. Antonio Banderas provided the charm and the heroics, along with a lot of the humor as well. Catherine Zeta-Jones had more to do this time around. More acting, and she also did more fight scenes than the first film. The kid actor playing Joaquin was all right, he plays a little twerp very well. He reminded me of the little kid in The Mummy Returns. Actually, if I had to compare this movie to something it would probably Mummy Returns. Bigger stunts, more hokiness, more humor but not as good as the original film. Mask of Zorro was PG-13, this time it’s PG and the Legend of Zorro seems more like a family movie. Some people will find that disappointing.
The bonus stuff wasn’t that bad, there was a decent amount of things for you to get an understanding of the production. First thing is commentary with director Martin Campbell and cinematographer Phil Mayhew; but I wanted to watch the movie first before listening to commentary. I’m generally not a fan of audio commentary and don’t like reviewing it. Unless it’s something I watched a million times, then i’ll listen to it. There are a few short featurettes that were pretty good. In the amount of time the featurettes were shown, you do learn a lot on what went on and you see how things were made or done. I liked watching the stunts featurette, and the one with Richard Taylor (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) who masterminded some of the effects for this movie. During the big finale in the movie, Zorro & his horse were on top of a steam engine train. Many stunts and a lot of work were involved, so WETA workshop were brought in to make some bigatures. The train looked really great and believable, and was used for more scenes than originally anticipated. It seems Richard Taylor is popping up on every extras section of DVDs and I love hearing the guy speak about the work involved. Really makes me want to get a SFX job in the movie industry. There were a few other featurettes on the DVD like visual effects and costumes and just all the making of featurettes were very interesting. The deleted scenes (with optional commentary) were okay and there’s also multi-angle scene deconstruction but I didn’t watch that one.
Overall, Legend of Zorro is an entertaining swashbuckler flick but not as good as the first one. Something seemed like it was missing from the film, not sure what it was though. Perhaps it seemed more like a family film and not a more darker film like the original was. But I still enjoyed the movie, just hope if they do another sequel, it’s better than this one.
Director and Cinematographer Commentary Deleted Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary Four Behind The Scenes featurettes: Stunts, Visual Effects, Armand’s Party, and Playing with Trains
Two multi-angle scene deconstructions
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Surround
Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Favorite Scenes: I like the scenes where Zorro tries to save that family against that bad cowboy guy, and had to rescue the baby and wife in the fire. And the ending on the train was really exciting and fun.
Running Time: 130 minutes