Top critical review
I love Zorro, but this one twisted away from the tradition
on April 17, 2016
After going on a binge, and watching all of the American Zorro movies since 1920 I have to say this is not one of the better ones. This duology does a decent job of taking elements of the previous versions (flaming Z from "The Legon of Zorro"), this movie more than the first; however, it pushed some of the elements of Zorro to far off target for me to enjoy it. I was very glad that Zorro brought his whip using it like Douglas Fairbanks did back in "Don Q, Son of Zorro" --though no one, not even the stunt doubles in this movie could compare to his skill. It was also nice to see that Elena -- a strong female -- got to kick butt in both movies. A wonderful and completely new element. No woman character previously got to fight with more than words.
But again, the main appeal for the legacy of Zorro for me is that he is a strong, sophisticated, and elegant man play the part of the weak willed and political person by day. It was wonderful to see someone experiencing the hardship of not being able to do what you really want to in reality when you can put on a mask and do what is right without involving and harming those closest to you. To see it portrayed in the age of the 1820s-1840s during Mexican occupation---or in some version earlier during Spanish occupation allows the cultures of those times to shine through and show something very different. Pushing it forward to the 1850s when California joined the United States was too much for me. It was a culture shift that lost the appeal of why I like Zorro. (Don't misunderstand, I'm American and super patriotic...but I do not watch Zorro to see such elements.) They tried to over-copensate in adding more Spanish but it was the culture that appealed most. Though it was really nice to see a movie that didn't have really distractingly English accents. The movie was also more action-centric than plot and a lot of the fight scenes went on too long, as is the current tendency in action movies. Foremost was the attention to the divorce. That clashes with everything that Zorro is. I mean wow. And the fact that Elena did a 180 to what her views on fighting were from the previous movie? Way out of character. Yes, a child changes things but...long story short: no.
I think my overall view of the movie was most hindered by the Americanism, and the divorce focus. It changed the culture and characters too much for me. Without those two elements, I would have rated it higher. It brought back a lot of great things that I missed from Zorro in the previous movie.
Last side note: did anyone else notice that it said, "an historic" not, "a historic" in the introduction? They should have noticed that common grammatical mistake. I'm only halfway decent at grammar and noticed it.