OK, I admit it. In spite of the ton of silly anachronisms, I rather enjoyed The Mask of Zorro. I mean, Anthony Hopkins, right? And the “new” Zorro role suited Antonio Banderas to a T. Catherine Zeta-Jones was eye candy enough (even with her atrocious accent), and the swordplay/fight scenes were pretty good.
Contton candy, but not so bad the tons of anachronisms couldn’t be ignored in some plea by my suspension of disbelief assuming some sort of alternate reality or something.
But not even Banderas’ suitability to tghe role, Zeta-Jones’ still screenworthy eye candy or even young Adrian Alonso’s delightful portrayal of Joachim, son of Alejandro and Elena, and some really great choreography (fight scenes)â€”heck, not even a gorgeous, well-trained horseâ€”could overcome the weight of anachronisms.
This was a movie written by, produced by, directed by and for subliterates.
The movie is (amorphously–there are continuity problems between this movie and The Mask of Zorro, many of them) placed in 1850, and the setting of California gaining statehood is established.
But… the first action sequence in the film involves a Henry lever action rifleâ€”prominently placed in the villain’s hands. Let’s see… Henry got the patent for that rifle design in… 1860, as I recall.
Not an auspicious beginning.
An important plot device in the movie is nitroglycerin, presented as a brand new, “secret weapon” developed by a secret cabal to be used in the destruction of the United States. Works fine, except that nitro was invented in Italy in 1846 and was widely known by 1850.
Then there’s the plot to use the railroad to distribute nitro throughout the U.S. for use in destroying… what? Silly plot device compounded by the railroad scheme. Where was this non-existant railroad distribution system for the California Gold Rush, 1849~1854? Uhm, nowhere. That’s because the distribution system wasn’t even in existance in its most basic form until 1869 with the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Shall I go on to speak of a modern California-style “quickie divorce”â€”by a wife shedding a husband, no less!â€”in 1850 California? Or the simple fact that the Pinkerton Detective Agency was barely getting started and we’re to expect it was involved in skullduggery (and profound ineptitude) in the California statehood question? Silly. Should I speak of Southerners in mock Confederate uniforms? Or Abraham Lincoln in full “presidential garb” as background fluff?
Aw, gee… Is there nothing to save this flick?
Well, surely not a plot that makes any sense (FULL of holes) or witty dialogue or credible character development (apart from young Joachim, to the degree the plot allows).
All it has going for it are the aforementioned action sequences, competent (though pedestrian) performances by the leads, a really fun child actor (who, frankly, filled Anthony Hopkins shoes as the real actor in the show) and a horse.
Not enough to outweigh an assinine plot and a p-potful of anachronisms (I only scratched the surface there).
And I had so hoped for something inoffensive with anough romance for Wonder Woman, enough swordplay for me and enough credibility to at least allow for suspension of disbelief.
Nope. Not in The Legend of Zorro
Oh. Well. Written by and directed by subliterates for subliterates, I suppose.
Just the way it goes…