The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Review

The Mask of Zorro

With all the recent rehashing of old movies and TV series, (anyone catch the new Tarzan movie?) you wouldn’t be blamed if you didn’t expect too much from this one. But on the bright side, this one does have Anthony Hopkins taking on an entirely new ethnicity, which is always interesting.

Hopkins’s performance aside, The Mask of Zorro somehow managed to keep itself afloat despite steamrolling through almost every action movie cliche in the books. In retrospect, The Mask of Zorro never loses its freshness precisely because we are continually presented with new formations of the action movie spectacle in a genre we haven’t seen much of in a while. Part Robin Hood, part disaster movie, part young warrior in training movie, another part Robin Hood, Zorro seems to take the most classical elements of all of these action genres and put them together in a way that we know we’ve seen it all before, yet still enjoy the ride.

None of this is to say that The Mask of Zorro is a film masterpiece. Despite a strong performance by the hit-and-miss Antonio Banderas and an enchanting turn by Catherine Zeta-Jones as the princess/noble woman/whatever with a heart of gold, this film subjugates emotion to action. So don’t expect to be swashbuckling out of the theater.

A new DVD ofers commentary track, deleted scenes, and a making-of documentary. The new Deluxe Edition adds a sneak peek at the follow-up The Legend of Zorro.

She’s all ready to play.