In The Legend of Zorro, a fabulous drag queen (Antonio Banderas) saves Mexican California from Slovenian soap terrorists while riding a pipe-smoking stallion on top of a speeding train. The drag queen, Zorro, is married to the equally heroic Catherine Zeta-Jones, a busty, sword-fighting spy who goes undercover as a terrorist's wife to protect the secret identity of Zorro and save America. And that's not all—Zorro's ambitious toddler son is caught in the middle, confused by his father's sudden superheroic absences and the playacting affections of his terrorist-swindling mother. In the end, the Slovenians are defeated by the holy trinity of the Zorro family, the governor of California finally declares his land an American state, and in a weird turn of fate, the heroes, by saving the future of Californian democracy, inadvertently pave the way for Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise to political stardom.
In short, Zorro—which is sort of a romantic comedy woven into an action-adventure flick woven into a cartoon woven into a conspiratorial thriller woven into a parable about family life—is one weird-ass movie. At least the action choreography was slick (even if I'm convinced that every single gun-slinging, mustache-wearing, evil-doing desert pirate was played by one of Britney Spears' backup dancers). Slovenians, Spaniards, Mexicans, Americans, and the French all speak English in hodgepodge accents that could only be born in Los Angeles, and at the end of the movie, a Mexican priest magically transforms into a fast-talking toughie from the Bronx. Finally, I'm pretty sure that the whole point of Zorro is to be a moralizing fable meant to soothe the anxiety of latchkey kids by painting noble pictures of parents working late hours.
But in the end, I like what the people like—and if the audience's wild applause is any indication, the people like it best when a horse jumps from the top of a cliff onto the top of a speeding train and whinnies triumphantly. Oh, I wish I was a child again, so all of it could make sense.