The Mask Of Zorro

Dashing caballeros in gleaming black-leather boots, cracking their bullwhips, flashing their swords and smoking disdainfully slim cigars: If stars Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas had succumbed to the temptation to camp it up, this would be THE PHANTOM all over again. But the Tonys swash their buckles straight -- OK, with just the slightest hint of ...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Dashing caballeros in gleaming black-leather boots, cracking their bullwhips, flashing their swords and smoking disdainfully slim cigars: If stars Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas had succumbed to the temptation to camp it up, this would be THE PHANTOM all over again. But the Tonys swash their buckles straight -- OK, with just the slightest hint of knowing smiles -- and the result is old-fashioned fun that goes down as smoothly as a vintage cocktail. The year is 1821, and the people of Alta California are caught in the war between Mexican revolutionary Santa Ana and the forces of Spanish oppression, embodied in brutal governor Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Smith). Their one hope: the avenger named Zorro (Spanish for "fox"), who cuts a dashing figure in his black mask and cape while fighting for justice and the rights of the poor and defenseless. The man behind the mask is aristocratic Don Diego de la Vega (Hopkins), whom Montero ferrets out and imprisons; his wife is killed and his infant daughter Elena kidnapped to be raised as Montero's own child. Twenty years later, Elena is a beautiful and spirited young woman (Catherine Zeta Jones), Montero has hatched a new plan to exploit Alta California to his own ends, and Don Diego has escaped and is training a successor, the bandit Alejandro Murrieta (Banderas), who has his own unfinished business with Montero's minions. Rakishly handsome and a natural-born charmer, Banderas wears Zorro's slightly fetishistic getup with such graceful delight that the slate is wiped clean of such travesties as ZORRO, THE GAY BLADE. But the movie's secret weapon is Hopkins, whose Don Diego is a grizzled bon vivant who can still break a lady's heart as smoothly as he

can extinguish candles with his whip.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Dashing caballeros in gleaming black-leather boots, cracking their bullwhips, flashing their swords and smoking disdainfully slim cigars: If stars Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas had succumbed to the temptation to camp it up, this would be THE PHANTOM… (more)

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