Directed by Martin Campbell
Running Time: 2:17

I went into The Mask of Zorro not thinking very much about it. I had heard about this movie for almost a year, and I wondered why it had taken so long for it to be released, if it was any good. Well I'm here to tell you, it was, OK. The movie was shot very nicely, the swashbuckling, sword-fighting scenes were cool, but there was this hour long middle part of the movie, where they tried vainly to set up a story (other than revenge), that it got bogged down.

Anthony Hopkins is the first Zorro. He fights for the people against the tyrants that rule California. But when he is found, and his wife is killed and his only child taken from him by one of the tyrants Don Raphael, Zorro is put into prison and not heard from again. Until 20 years later, he escapes, and befriends a young man (Antonio Banderas) who had helped him 20 years earlier. Both Zorro 1 (Hopkins) and Zorro 2 (Banderas) have revenge on their mind. Zorro 1 against the man who killed his wife and took his daughter, and Zorro 2, against the man who killed his brother. So Zorro 1 trains Zorro 2 to be the best fighter he can. Along the way Zorro 2 falls for Don Raphael's daughter, who is in fact Zorro 1's real daughter. Zorro 1 only wants to be able to tell his daughter who she really is. Zorro 2 only wants to kill the man who killed his brother. Then Zorro 2 becomes the only Zorro and everyone lives happily every after. Oh yeah, and there's this thing with Don Raphael wanting to buy California from Santa Ana using Santa Ana's own gold. He uses peasants to do his dirty work, and they're all going to die unless Zorro can save the day.

I'm not sure why the revenge motive wasn't enough for the producers of the film. Adding the captives plot line seemed a little forced. That's why the movie seemed so long. The opening of the movie was non-stop action. The end of the movie, with the dueling duels was done well. But other than a few humourous sequences in the middle, for about an hour, I was a little bored. I love Antonio Banderas (not in that way) and he is the perfect actor for Zorro. Anthony Hopkins always does a good job in whatever role he's in. The villian was good, the girl was good (Catherine Zeta-Jones), although if you notice, the entire movie, she's shot with very soft lighting, which is fine, but when she's standing next to someone else, and she looks soft, and he looks hard, it doesn't look good together. The story was just a little weak. They should have played up the revenge factor a lot more, and leave the captives alone.

Overall, it's a decent enough film, something that looks good on a big screen, and sounds even better. But it could have been much more with the people that were involved in it.

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