Martin Campbell’s The Mask of Zorro proved in no uncertain terms that the filmmaker had a knack when it came to rebooting literary icons for the big screen, having accomplished the same feat just three years earlier when he helmed Pierce Brosnan’s debut as James Bond in GoldenEye.
The crackling chemistry between Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones powered the rip-roaring adventure to enthusiastic reviews and a box office haul of $250 million, but Warner Bros. were arguably far too late when it came to pulling the trigger on a sequel.
It was seven years until The Legend of Zorro came to theaters in the summer of 2005, where it suffered greatly from the law of diminishing returns on a critical and commercial level, earning $100 million less than its predecessor and enduring a severe drop to a 26% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Legend of Zorro was an all-round disappointment, which is a shame when the opening installment was so much damn fun. Banderas and Zeta-Jones can’t really be blamed, though, with the two leads radiating star power and charm despite the subpar plot that threatens to swallow them whole.
The poor reception sixteen years ago clearly hasn’t dissuaded Netflix subscribers in the slightest, with The Legend of Zorro swashbuckling its way up the Netflix viewership rankings to currently reside as the sixteenth most-watched title on the platform, as per FlixPatrol.