Throwback Thursday: The Legend of Zorro (2005)

In our capitalist, materialist based society, it is easy to forget those who are not as fortunate as we are. Sometimes, it falls upon a fictional hero to remind us of this fact.

Zorro has been a popular character for over a century. His story and his Robin Hood view of the world has inspired more than a few adaptations over the years.

Back in 1998, The Mask of Zorro was a box office hit. Six years later, the film’s sequel, The Legend of Zorro hit theaters. The narrative starts ten years after the previous film ended. Don Alejandro De La Vega (i.e. Zorro) (Antonio Banderas) and his wife Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) are happily married with a young son.

But work and his alter ego is starting to pull Alejandro away from home. Feeling dissatisfied with the status of her marriage, Elena leaves her husband. She finds companionship in the arms of Count Armand (Rufus Sewell). Alejandro is more than jealous of his wife’s new partner. He begins to suspect that Armand is part of a scheme to prevent California from becoming a part of the United States.

Compared to its predecessor, the reviews for this film are not good. In this case, I disagree with the reviewers. The Legend of Zorro is not the most intellectual film, but that’s ok. It is one of those movies that is just fun to watch and the perfect vehicle to step away from reality for a couple of hours.

I loved that Elena’s role in this film is expanded. More than just the pretty love interest, she is as badass as her husband. I also loved the casting of Rufus Sewell. He is one of those actors who has perfected the art of playing a villain.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Throwback Thursday-The Mask Of Zorro (1998)

In every age, there is a hero who rights the wrongs and restores justice to the world. Created in 1919, Zorro (aka Don Diego de la Vega), was the Robin Hood of his day.

Zorro has had several incarnations on screen since his introduction to the world nearly 100 years ago.

In 1998, Zorro was re-imagined as The Mask of Zorro.

Don Diego de la Vera (Anthony Hopkins) is a nobleman living in Spanish controlled California with his wife and young daughter, Elena.  Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson) is Diego’s rival, politically and romantically. As Spain concedes California to Santa Anna, Rafael uses this opportunity to strike back at his rival. Diego’s wife is killed, his daughter is taken away and he is thrown in prison.

A generation later, Alejando Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) is a common thief who watched his brother die. Diego sees the promise in Alejandro, but knows that work must be done. While Diego is training Alejandro to wear the mask of Zorro, Rafael and the noblemen are becoming wealthy at the expense of the lower classes. Rafael has also raised Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) as his own. Alejandro will put on the mask of Zorro, but is he ready to avenge his brother and restore justice?

It’s Zorro. Rocket science and Oscar worthy, it’s not. But it is entertaining, even if Elena, like many women in this genre are reduced to love interests and damsels in distress.

Do I recommend it? Why not?

%d bloggers like this: