Yet another of those movies that came out while I was on holiday, we went to see it through the week (Orange Wednesdays are great). It's the sequel to The Mask Of Zorro, an excellent romp starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Banderas and Zeta-Jones are back in this one so here's the plot...
Ten years have past and California is poised to enter the American Union. Alejandro and Elena have a son, Joaquin, who wishes his father was more like Zorro while Elena wishes Alejandro would give up the mask and spend more time with his family. Alejandro is torn between his two lives and things are not going well in casa de la Vega.
When Alejandro breaks his promise to put away the mask, Elena leaves him and sues for divorce. Alejandro starts drinking and Elena starts seeing a new arrival to the area - Armand, Comte de la Fère, a wealthy French landowner. Needless to say, Alejandro doesn't like the man and when he witnesses a huge explosion on his land, he decides that he needs to look into things as Zorro. Especially as someone has also been trying to thwart California's entry to the Union.
Things have moved on - California is growing up and both the characters and actors have aged alongside. Both Banderas and Zeta-Jones are more accomplished in their art and reprise the roles very well. As a sequel, this works very well although it is much more aimed at the family audience. The violence is much watered down from that in The Mask Of Zorro - there's no blood on view and definitely no severed heads. That aside, it still works quite well and the action scenes are excellent.
I don't think I've ever seen a bad Antonio Banderas movie and he obviously loves the swordfighting and acrobatic action stuff. If you're looking for a good old swashbuckling movie with a fairly simple and transparent plot for the whole family to enjoy, then this easily fits the bill.
Interesting Note: The Comte de la Fère was the title of Athos, one of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Western
My rating: 6/10