Nathan Edward Williams

Made me the goofiness - by Swiftbow (Jordan Travers)
-Created Fri Feb 10 2006 23:48:39
-Updated Sat Feb 11 2006 11:02:55
-Edited by Nathan Edward Williams - 09/02/2006
This review probably teeters on the side of Plagiarism, but I was afraid that if I didn't act to preserve it, it would eventually get deleted from The Internet Movie Database. Just to be clear: I didn't write this. I found it on the IMDb message board and copied it here. The only editing I did was to format it in HTML, and correct a few typos.

Well. So I just saw this, and my reviewing brain is running thick with comments from laughing it up about it with my family. So here goes:

We're treated to a sequel to the most excellent Mask of Zorro, starring the same actors. Yay, that's gotta be a winner, right? Apparently not.

The movie starts out promisingly enough. It is 1850. California is voting to join the Union, Zorro is making sure everything goes swimmingly, great. But what's this?! A bad guy (known as McGivens, but he has wooden teeth, so I shall call him McWoodtooth) shows up wanting to vote after the polls are closed! Of course, I'd deny the guy the right to vote based on the fact that he just shot at a large number of people (carefully only blowing off their hats, good thing he's a crack shot or something). But no arrests come forward. And none of the soldiers are able to do diddly squat as he decides to steal all the votes! Gasp! Why is he stealing the votes? Well, he mumbles something about not liking Mexifornians or somesuch, but this is never really ever made clear.

Nonetheless, he does so, but here comes Zorro! (who voted earlier, while wearing his mask, voting to join the Union with a little Z on the ballot. Makes me wonder: is he registered to vote under the name Zorro, or Alejandro? or both? Did he vote twice?) Anyway, Zorro valiantly chases down the bad guys, who conveniently forget they have guns and fight him with swords. Also Zorro exhibits an array of acrobatic moves, also doing a flip while chasing the escaping carriage despite losing time in doing so. Moving on...

Zorro gets the votes back, thrilling fight sequence, McWoodtooth gets a faceful of cactus and Zorro goes home. But his wife isn't happy about him playing Zorro! Oh no, he promised he'd quit or something. This seems totally unlike Elena, who initially fell in love with Zorro, and THEN Alejandro. Well, anyway, somehow Zorro is needed so often that he hasn't spent any time with his son, Joaquin, who keeps skipping school or something. So Alejandro and Elena fight, Alejandro rides off in a huff.

Next day, Elena goes to town, kid complains about his dad being a rich snob, Elena gets followed by these two guys who saw Zorro with his mask off. I'm going to fast forward a bit now, suffice to say she gets blackmailed into helping these guys because they know Alejandro is Zorro. So they make her divorce him. This plan makes no sense to me at all, but things keep going. Also, they are Catholics, who don't get divorced easily. But somehow this one goes through right quick because...

Three months later, Alejandro is getting drunk every night! Only his buddy the priest guy is trying to keep him from going wacko. So they go to a party held by this new guy in town from France, Armand or something. We shall know him as Count Adhemar, because that was his name in A Knight's Tale, and will be very fitting shortly...

It turns out Adhemar is courting Elena! So Alejandro summons his amazing ability to get drunk, makes some rude comments (that are somewhat deserved, based on the way Elena is acting) and is dragged from the party by the priest dude. But later on, drunk enough to fall off his horse, something blows up! Keep watching audience! And right on Adhemar's property, too. So now he's SURE that Adhemar is up to something.

But before we can get to that, he has to pick up his son from school and talk to some old buddies of his (the Cortez'). They're having a grand ol' time until suddenly McWoodtooth shows up! How come he's not in jail? Who knows, but he sure as heck wants the Cortez' land. So he starts threatening them and such until a cop shows up. Now, this scene really started to stretch the believability levels, because it went something like this:

Cop: Any troubles here? Cortez: This guy keeps wanting our land and all, but we kinda like it there? Alejandro: And he just slapped me twice right in front of you officer. Cop: Well, even though this guy is on every wanted poster in town, I don't see a problem here.

Anyway, so Alejandro eventually confronts Count Adhemar and is challenged to a duel for Elena! A... polo duel. Okay...

But it turns out this is some new kind of polo, and now you see why I call him Adhemar. Because they are jousting. With polo sticks. After knocking each off once each, Adhemar starts to curse the name of William Thatcher and puts a sharp point on his lance in order to totally defeat his commoner foe... oh wait, sorry, wrong movie. He curses the name of ZORRO and puts a sharp point on his POLO STICK in order to totally defeat his slightly less nobleman foe. Anyway, Alejandro, not keen to get jabbed through the chest with a polo stick, jumps off his horse. How they are playing polo with two players and a winning score of 2 is beyond me, but I don't really know a lot about polo, so we'll drop that.

Because it's time for McWoodtooth to go get that deed! He cruises up with a bunch of men to the Cortez' to demand it, threatening the guy's wife until he shows up with it, then prepares to shoot them both. Why he didn't just shoot them both in the first place is unexplained, but it does give Zorro time to show up! A fight ensues. Once again, the bad guys forget about the handy guns they all carry and produce swords from somewhere to fight Zorro with. However, they continue to shoot guns at the Cortez', who are far less combatively dangerous than Zorro. Anyway...

Actually, on further review, this may not be the case, because Mr. Cortez manages to blow away a couple of the bad guys with his own rifle, while Zorro insists on never actually cutting people with his sword. Even when he slices a "Z" into their shirts, he carefully draws no blood. What a super guy! The fact that the bad guys are always up and ready to fight him again about 30 seconds after he punches them is apparently irrelevant. Though not so much because it basically results in Mr. Cortez getting shot, when he can't find his wife doing exactly what he told her to do and turns his back. But that is a minor error.

Because it's time for Zorro to go on a new mission! Figure out what the blazes this convoluted plan is. Elena seems to be on the same mission, sent by those guys who blackmailed her. Surely their motivations and plan must be dizzyingly complicated and will be revealed in time...

Elena proceeds to uncover a telegraph transmission (printed on ticker tape invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876) ordering some stuff. Zorro finds a hidden map behind a bookcase with two maps: The first one shows a railroad going to Count Adhemar's Vineyard. The second... is a map of the United States with all 48 continental states. I wouldn't have been surprised if Alaska and Hawaii weren't on there somewhere, too.

Ah, but the real incriminating evidence is only moments away, because McWoodtooth shows up and tells Adhemar he got that deed. Zorro hides in the chimney in lieu of dispatching these two bad guys, both of whom he despises rather passionately. But we haven't gotten to the climax yet, so he waits in the chimney flue, even when Adhemar lights a fire. Good plan there, Z.

So Zorro is on his way out when he finally bumps into Elena who argues with him some more and they exchanges some amusing facial expressions as Adhemar proposes to her with Zorro hiding under the eaves.

But onto more action! Joaquin's class runs into McWoodtooth at a drinking hole and Zorro Jr. hitches a ride on their carriage to see what they're up to. The kid gets caught and the bad guys prepare to gut him (also with swords) when Zorro shows up! He knocks them off a cliff, but fortunately the soap breaks their fall. Good thing, I was really worried some bad guys might die.

So the kid proceeds to complain to Zorro about his dad not being around enough and the divorce thing, and all that. Now... the kid is 10 years old. His dad can't have been gone ALL the time, so the kid just has to know what his dad looks like, and what his voice sounds like. But Zorro cleverly speaks in Spanish to disguise his voice, and his eye covering mask does the rest! No one can recognize this chin! Or this Spanish accent, which I also use when I speak in English!

Now suddenly, Alejandro gets drugged in the street by them guys what blackmailed Elena. They toss him in prison and are waiting when he wakes up. Now, finally, we shall now the dire truth behind this divorce that will explain everything!


They're Pinkerton agents, sent by the U.S. government, to stop the Knights of Aragon from completing their plan to destroy America. So Adhemar really is a knight! See?

But okay, that part is semi-plausible. But what these guys really want is Zorro to get out of the way because Elena is an agent for them now and he's causing problems. Wha? Why aren't they using Zorro if they need local aid? Why the forced divorce? Why not, oh I don't know, EXPLAIN the situation to Zorro and family? Anyway, these guys are obviously morons because they fall for the ol' "Come closer to the bars so I can tell you something" trick and get whanged. Ha ha! But Zorro does not escape.

Fortunately, Joaquin is searching the bars looking for him! And there's one just outside! What luck! Alejandro calls on Joaquin to bust him out of prison, and the kid wields his trusty slingshot to knock some guards on their rears. They start fighting each other for some reason, but the guard with the keys chases Zorro Jr. The kid takes him out and busts out Alejandro, but all the guards are recovered now! Then, for some reason, Alejandro pretends to threaten Zorro Jr. unless they do what he says. Boy is that a stupid plan. Fortunately, for the audience's sake, it doesn't work. However, the guards (who, justifiably, work for Pinkerton's also) are told to "kill them." What?! I thought they were just holding Alejandro until this was all over. Not to mention killing the kid? Well, whatever, because Alejandro can basically breathe on these guys too hard and they go down.

But even after all this, Alejandro isn't going to tell his kid "Oh, by the way, I'm Zorro, so that explains all that stuff," and leaves him with the priest. He's off to figure out why the heck Adhemar is mining soap! Or bringing in soap by sea. Or something.

The plan is shortly revealed after Alejandro FINALLY gets back together with Elena and they sneak into Adhemar's super secret factory. His dastardly plan is to use an all new explosive, nitro glycerin, to blow up the White House and thus cause the Civil War to destroy America.

Now, present for this plan (in 1850, mind you) is a General Beauregard, wearing a Confederate uniform, and talking about the Confederate states. The South didn't have any of these things until 1861, but we'll let that go for right now, because I also must mention that nitro glycerin was discovered in 1847, and used to build the railroad Adhemar is planning to use to ship his nitro to Washington. The transcontinental railroad was built using nitro glycerin and wasn't finished until 1869, but we won't go into that either.

His shipment is prepared, and Zorro goes off to stop the train while Elena runs back inside to pretend she didn't just fight and take out a bunch of sword wielding guards. (I just can't mention this enough... why are guards in the 1850s all armed with swords? This wasn't exactly common then... most soldiers carried a rifle with a bayonet attachment)

Adhemar won't be fooled anymore, though! He caught her carrier pigeon and killed the Pinkerton's morons, and captures her, too. Meanwhile, McWoodtooth invades the church, shoots the priest, and takes Joaquin.

Now Zorro has to put OUT his nitro the train plan before it blows up everybody. He does, but is also captured. Now I do have to wonder how this new line of train tracks were finished in approximately two days, without any apparent sign of work crews. Also, why does Adhemar even need this spur through the Cortez land? Couldn’t he just have transported his nitro via coach until he got to the main line? Might have been a little easier…

But anyway, finally Joaquin finds out Alejandro is Zorro. About friggin' time. Now, McWoodtooth is about to cut Alejandro's throat, but Elena whips up the tear ducts and Adhemar tells him to wait until the kid is out of eyesight. So fine. McWoodtooth leads Alejandro into the factory and prepares to do him in. Two more guards show up for good measure.

Now, this is a truly dire situation and we're expecting Zorro to come up with something clever. Unfortunately, the screenwriters couldn't, so they have McWoodtooth switch his knife to the BACK of Zorro's neck so that Zorro can escape more easily. He does so and a fight breaks out. McWoodtooth finally remembers that he carries a pair of pistols and is about to shoot Zorro when along comes the priest dude! What? Wasn't he dead? Well, he and Zorro dispatch the bad guys anyway and McWoodtooth gets a drop of nitro on his head and blows up in a most satisfying way at least.

And so we discover that the priest's holy cross around his neck blocked the bullet! Wow, that has NEVER happened to anyone before! It's nice how 1 inch wide pieces of metal are magnetically attracted to bullets aimed at one's heart. But that's ok, really, because we like the priest dude.

But now Zorro is off again! The train is getting away, and it's time for a repeat of that really cool horse-riding scene from the first movie! Zorro rides up the train, down the train, up a hill, jumps the horse ONTO the top of the train, and finally jumps inside a handy stable car before they enter a tunnel. We finally find out why the bad guys don't use their guns during this scene. It's because they can't hit ANYTHING.

Zorro breaks into the passenger train and fights off Adhemar as Elena and Joaquin run to the back of the train. Elena breaks loose the back cars (with a train car coupler invented in 1873) and leaves Joaquin behind. She then turns to fight the one last extra bad guy, who looks like a skinny Odd Job with a hook and no hat. They fight in the worst possible place ever, the car with the dozens of bottles of nitro glycerin.

But now Joaquin is left behind! And he doesn't like that. But he's in the car with the horse, so off he goes at super speed after that train again!

At this point, I'm really amazed at this horse's endurance. He's chased this train for miles at this point already, and it has to be going in excess of 30 miles an hour. Now he has to catch it AGAIN by going even faster, and up yet more hills. Actually, moments later, I'm amazed to discover that Joaquin has actually BEATEN the train to another part farther up the track where the historical act of admitting California to the Union is taking place! Why this is happening in the middle of nowhere is anyone's guess. Seeing the train coming, everybody runs in total panic, totally unnoticing the convenient sidetrack and nearby switch, which only a violently rearing horse can operate. Gotta love that horse.

The train just misses the crowd, and the nitro ALMOST goes off, but of course it can't just yet! Our heroes are still aboard! And all this time Zorro and Adhemar have been dueling a REALLY long time, and switch swords at least 6 times. Adhemar is also capable of somehow breaking his one sword into two swords. I guess it's specially made or something.

Elena also finally beats Odd Hook and tosses him out of the train with a bottle of nitro in his pants. It's a perfect push, too, because it kills General Beauregard, who apparently is resurrected a few years later in time to lead the Confederate Army before Robert E. Lee takes over.

Adhemar and Zorro's fight continues, and Zorro is perfectly willing to keep fighting for a few more hours (evidences by his cutting a Z into Adhemar's shirt (but not his skin, of course) when he has a chance to kill the guy. However, the audience is relieved because the end of the track is fast approaching.

Well, since you know the train is full of nitro, and its going fast, and Adhemar is a bad guy, you already know how this ends. Zorro and Elena use his whip to jump to safety and KABOOM!!! It's possible Adhemar gets killed by the stack of rails at the end of the track, but we'll assume it was both.

And so they return to the historic signing! All the great leaders are present. The governor of California and his wife, and of course, Abraham Lincoln. Yes, that's right, Abraham Lincoln. (It is still 1850, meaning he's a lawyer in Illinois, but apparently the moviemakers couldn't remember any more presidents.) It is possible that he's there as an attorney, I suppose, but Illinois is an awfully long way to go to get a rather unknown lawyer and one-time congressman.

But all that aside, Alejandro and Elena get remarried. But lo, what is that!? It's the Zorro signal! He is needed! And now Elena finally understands that Alejandro might, y'know, occasionally need to save people. So.

They head back home, Alejandro grabs his gear, suits up, gets his horse ready, and rides to the top of the hill, his horse rearing majestically as his family watches with pride. It's sunset now... it was about noon when the bells rang. Well, that should be enough time for the bad guys to use up all their bullets so they'll only have swords when Zorro arrives! Away!!!