The Legend of Zorro
The Legend of Zorro is a 2005 American Western swashbuckler film directed by Martin Campbell, produced by Walter F. Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Lloyd Phillips, with music by James Horner, and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is the sequel to 1998's The Mask of Zorro; Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones reprise their roles as the titular hero and his spouse, Elena, and Rufus Sewell stars as the villain, Count Armand. The film takes place in San Mateo County, California and was shot in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, with second-unit photography in Wellington, New Zealand. The film was theatrically released on October 28, 2005, by Columbia Pictures (instead of TriStar due to Columbia holding the sequel rights to Tristar's pre-1999 film library), and earned $142.4 million on a $75 million budget.
|The Legend of Zorro|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Martin Campbell|
|Produced by||Walter F. ParkesLaurie MacDonaldLloyd Phillips|
|Screenplay by||Roberto OrciAlex Kurtzman|
|Story by||Roberto OrciAlex KurtzmanTed ElliottTerry Rossio|
by Johnston McCulley
|Starring||Antonio BanderasCatherine Zeta-JonesRufus SewellNick Chinlund|
|Music by||James Horner|
|Edited by||Stuart Baird|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$142.4 million|
In 1850, nine years after the events of the first film, California is voting on whether to join the United States of America as a state. Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro, now known as Don Alejandro De La Vega, foils a plot to steal the ballots, but during the fight with a gunman named Jacob McGivens, he briefly loses his mask. A pair of Pinkerton agents see his face and recognize him. The following day, the agents confront Alejandro's wife, Elena, and blackmail her into divorcing him.
Three months later, the separation from Elena and his son Joaquin, and the feeling that the people no longer need Zorro, are taking their toll on Alejandro. His childhood guardian, Father Felipe, convinces him to attend a party at French Count Armand's new vineyard. There, Alejandro discovers that Elena is dating the count, an admirer from her time spent in Europe. After leaving the party, Alejandro witnesses a huge explosion close to Armand's mansion and becomes suspicious of him.
McGivens leads an attack on the family of Guillermo Cortez, Alejandro's friend, to seize their land deed. Donning his mask again, Zorro rescues Guillermo's wife and son, but fails to save Guillermo and the deed. Zorro follows McGivens to Armand's mansion and discovers that Armand plans to build a railroad on Cortez's land. He also encounters Elena and, learning of an upcoming shipment, he tracks McGivens to a cove where the cargo is delivered. Unbeknownst to him, Joaquin also hitched a ride on McGiven's cart, having sneaked out of a class trip. Zorro saves his son from the bandits and, examing the shipment, he sees a piece of the cargo - a bar of soap - and the name Orbis Unum on a crate lid. Upon researching the phrase, Felipe and Alejandro learn that Armand is the head of a secret society, the Knights of Aragon, which has been secretly ruling Europe. The United States is deemed a threat to the Knights, so they plan to throw the country into chaos before it can gain too much power.
Alejandro is captured by the Pinkertons, who reveal that they forced Elena to divorce Alejandro in order to get close to Armand and learn of his plans without the aid of Zorro, as they dislike Zorro and his vigilante ways. Joaquin frees Alejandro from captivity. Zorro goes to Armand's mansion, meets Elena, and eavesdrops on Armand's meeting. He learns that the soap bars are secretly used as an ingredient for nitroglycerin, which Armand plans to distribute throughout the Confederate army, with the help of Confederate Colonel Beauregard, to destroy the Union. Zorro and Elena reconcile, and Zorro prepares to destroy the train carrying the explosives. McGivens arrives at Felipe's church to look for Zorro. Unable to find him, McGivens shoots the priest and kidnaps Joaquin.
Meanwhile, however, Armand's butler Ferroq tracks down and kills the Pinkertons and informs his master about Elena's deception. Armand confronts Elena, and takes her and Joaquin hostage on the train carrying the explosives, making Zorro unable to destroy it. Zorro is captured and unmasked in front of his son. Armand takes Joaquin and Elena away and orders McGivens to kill Alejandro. Felipe, having been saved from McGivens's bullet by the cross he wears, arrives, and he and Alejandro overpower and kill McGivens.
Zorro catches up with Armand, and they engage in a sword fight. Meanwhile, Elena has Joaquin escape into the back cars of the train, which she disconnects. Elena fights Ferroq in the nitro storage car and throws him and a bottle of nitro out of the car and at the feet of Colonel Beauregard at their prearranged meeting point, killing them. Further along the tracks, the governor prepares to sign the bill to make California a Union state. Joaquin collects Tornado, Zorro's horse, jumps off the train, and overtakes it. He hits a track switch, causing the train to harmlessly pass around the ceremony. Zorro and Armand's duel takes them to the very front of the train engine. Seeing the track is a dead end, Zorro hooks Armand to the train by tying him up on the front of the engine and escapes with Elena. The train crashes into the pile of rails at the end of the track, setting off the nitroglycerin, killing Armand and destroying the train.
With Zorro as an official witness, the governor signs the bill, and California becomes the 31st state of the United States of America. Felipe remarries Alejandro and Elena, and Alejandro apologizes to his son for hiding his identity, admitting that Zorro's identity is a family secret rather than just his own. With Elena's support, Zorro rides off on Tornado to his next mission.
- Antonio Banderas as Don Alejandro de la Vega / Zorro
- Catherine Zeta-Jones as Eléna de la Vega
- Rufus Sewell as Count Armand
- Nick Chinlund as Jacob McGivens
- Adrián Alonso as Joaquin de la Vega
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Padre Felipe
- Shuler Hensley as Pike
- Michael Emerson as Harrigan
- Leo Burmester as Colonel Beauregard
- Tony Amendola as Padre Quintero
- Pedro Armendáriz, Jr. as Governor Riley
- Giovanna Zacarias as Blanca Cortez
- Raúl Méndez as Ferroq
- Alberto Reyes as Padre Ignacio
An alternate ending, included on the DVD, shows a grown-up Joaquin putting on the costume and riding off into the sunset, following his father's and maternal grandfather Diego de la Vega's (portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in The Mask of Zorro) footsteps as Zorro, while the elderly Alejandro and Elena watch proudly. This was changed to the theatrical ending in order to allow for future sequels with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, something that never happened.
The Legend of Zorro continues its predecessor's inclusion of Spanish historical elements of California history into the fiction, though many liberties have been taken. Alejandro, the Mexican-born Californian who became Zorro at the end of The Mask of Zorro, is a fictional brother to Joaquin Murrieta, for whom the character's son Joaquin is named. Military governor Bennet Riley, the last of California's heads of state prior to statehood, is portrayed, but the Maryland-born American is played by the Mexican actor Pedro Armendáriz Jr. who speaks English with a Hispanic accent. Leo Burmester plays R. S. Beauregard, a Confederate colonel whose character is not to be confused with the historical P. G. T. Beauregard. Pedro Mira plays a pre-Presidential Abraham Lincoln as an observer to California's statehood, though the real Lincoln never traveled to the region. The film also features a fictional monument called Bear Point, commemorating the site where the original Bear Flag of the California Republic flew briefly in 1846. Although the actual flag flew in Sonoma County, the film suggests that Bear Point is located in San Mateo County.
The Legend of Zorro, which takes place in 1850, includes a significant number of deviations from national history as well, particularly in depicting an organized Confederate States of America and a presumed completed First Transcontinental Railroad, each more than a decade before their times. Additional deviations include a quote from the Gettysburg Address, which would not be written until 1863. A map discovered by Zorro delineates two states (Arizona and New Mexico) that did not achieve statehood until 1912; several other states depicted on the map entered into the Union long after California. The film also features characters who identify themselves as agents of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, which had been established in the year 1850 but was known at the time as the North-Western Police Agency.
A deleted scene on the film's DVD features a short discussion on a magic lantern presentation.
The use of the Henry repeating rifle by Jacob McGivens is a mistake, it was introduced in the early 1860s and produced through 1866.
|The Legend of Zorro: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Film score by|
|Released||October 25, 2005|
|James Horner chronology|
- Track listing
|1.||"Collecting the Ballots"||3:27|
|3.||"To the Governor's... And Then Elena"||4:05|
|4.||"This Is Who I Am"||3:05|
|6.||"The Cortez Ranch"||6:35|
|7.||"A Proposal with Pearls / Perilous Times"||3:58|
|8.||"Joaquin's Capture and Zorro's Rescue"||5:00|
|9.||"Jailbreak / Reunited"||5:36|
|10.||"A Dinner of Pigeon / Setting the Explosives"||5:04|
|11.||"Mad Dash / Zorro Unmasked"||3:20|
|12.||"Just One Drop of Nitro"||2:40|
|15.||"My Family Is My Life..."||8:14|
The film currently holds a rating of 47 out of 100 on Metacritic, and a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with its consensus stating, "Zorro can survive a lot of things, but it looks like he can't survive marriage". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a below-average review, awarding it one and a half out of four stars, commenting that "of all of the possible ideas about how to handle the Elena character, this movie has assembled the worst ones." James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave The Legend of Zorro two out of four stars, saying that "the action is routine", "the chemistry between the two leads, which was one of the highlights of The Mask of Zorro, has evaporated during the intervening years", and that the movie "fails to recapture the pleasure offered by The Mask of Zorro."
Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com praised the film, calling it "entertaining, bold, and self-effacing at once", noting the civic and parental questions it raises. Slate Magazine critic David Edelstein also praised the film, in particular the action scenes, villains, and chemistry between Banderas and Zeta-Jones. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle said the film was "watchable – not remotely enjoyable, but watchable." Nathan Rabin of The Onion's A.V. Club gave the film a lukewarm review, saying that "director Martin Campbell doles out action sequences stingily", and added that "The Legend of Zorro still feels like a half-hearted shrug of a sequel." Brian Lowry of Variety said that The Legend of Zorro is "considerably less charming than The Mask of Zorro", but added that the film "gets by mostly on dazzling stunt work and the pleasure of seeing its dashing and glamorous leads back in cape and gown." Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly awarded the film a "B-" score. Schwarzbaum said that "too many scenes emphasize gross butchery over the elegance of the blade", but added that the film is "well-oiled" and praised the "fancy fight sequences".
Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post reacted negatively, calling The Legend of Zorro "a waste of talent, time, and money" and "stupid and boring". Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle was also not impressed, remarking that "there are precious few things for a Zorro fan – or a film fan, for that matter – not to loathe about The Legend of Zorro." The film did reasonably well at the box office, grossing $142,400,065 internationally, but did not match the success of its predecessor.
Potential crossover sequel
A comic book adaptation of the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained was released by DC Comics in 2013. In 2015, a sequel crossover comic entitled Django/Zorro was released by Dynamite Entertainment, written by Tarantino, the latter being the first comic book sequel to a Tarantino film. In June 2019, Tarantino had picked Jerrod Carmichael to co-write a film adaptation based on the Django/Zorro crossover comic book series. Tarantino and Jamie Foxx have both expressed interest in having Antonio Banderas reprise his role as Zorro from The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro in the film in addition to Foxx himself reprising his role as Django Freeman.
- "The Legend of Zorro". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
- "The Legend Of Zorro To Shoot In New Zealand". Scoop. 2004-12-16. Retrieved 2015-08-27.
- Horan, James David; Swigget, Howard (1951). The Pinkerton Story. Putam. p. 202.
- "The Legend of Zorro Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- "The Legend of Zorro". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- Roger Ebert (October 27, 2005). "The Legend of Zorro Movie Review (2005)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
- Berardinelli, James (2005). "Review: Legend of Zorro, The". Reelviews. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- Stephanie Zacharek (October 28, 2005). "The Legend of Zorro". Salon. Archived from the original on January 3, 2007.
- Edelstein, David (October 28, 2005). "Laugh Laugh Scream Scream". Slate. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
- LaSalle, Mick (2005-10-28). "This guy just can't hang up his mask". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- Rabin, Nathan (2005-10-26). "The Legend Of Zorro". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
- Lowry, Brian (2005-10-23). "The Legend of Zorro". Variety. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- Schwarzbaum, Lisa (2005-10-26). "The Legend of Zorro Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- Hunter, Stephen. "The Legend of Zorro". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- "The Legend of Zorro - Film Calendar". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- Savov, Marc (October 28, 2006). "Film Review: The Legend of Zorro". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- "The Legend of Zorro (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
- "DC Comics: Django Unchained". Grand Comics Database.
- DC Comics: Django Unchained at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- "Dynamite® Django / Zorro #1". Archived from the original on January 15, 2015. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
- Sneider, Jeff (June 3, 2019). "Exclusive: Quentin Tarantino Working with Jerrod Carmichael on 'Django/Zorro' Movie". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- Moss, Emma-Lee (July 28, 2014). "Comic-Con 2014: Quentin Tarantino on the Django-Zorro crossover". Retrieved July 28, 2014.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Legend of Zorro|