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The Legend of Zorro (PG)

Release Date: October 28th, 2005 by Columbia Pictures.
The Cast: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Giovana Zacarías, Raúl Méndez, Gustavo Sánchez Parra, Adrian Alonso, Nick Chinlund, Pedro Armendariz, Mary Crosby, Rufus Sewell.
Directed by Martin Campbell.

BASIC PREMISE: In 1850, Alejandro (Banderas), a.k.a. Zorro, joins his wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) and their ten year-old son Joaquin (Alonso) to uncover the evil plans of French Count Armand (Sewell).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The exciting action sequences and slapstick humor compensates for the silly, outrageous plot. Most of the violence is cartoonish without any blood or guts. The adorable Adrian Alonso provides plenty of comic relief as Joaquin, who has no idea that his father is really Zorro. More humor comes from Zorro's horse that has some problems with drinking alcohol and smoking pipes. Catherine Zeta-Jones looks as sexy as ever Elena when she flirts with Count Armand. In a comical scene, he asks her to marry her while Alejandro hides above them on the balcony. She doesn't say "yes" or "no", but rather a "definite maybe." The silly plot continues as she discovers that he manufacturing soap to turn it into nitro-glycerin. The final action sequence is pure, edge-of-your-seat fun as Alejandro, Elena, and Joaquin try to stop a train from carrying the nitro-glycerin. Luckily, Zorro's horse helps as well. The cinematography and colorful costume design help make the film look great. Also worth mentioning is the great choreography, which makes for a very fun ride without any excessive violence.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Elena insists that Alejandro should get to know their son more, but there are very few scenes where they truly bond--although they do end up fighting together.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Silly, unsurprising plot.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A purely entertaining film with exciting, comical action sequences that make up for its unsurprising, silly plot.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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