The Mask of Zorro

Released 7/17/98                              Rated: PG-13

The Mask of Zorro is a wonderful addition to any collection. It’s fun and action packed with just enough of a love story to tie it all together. Zorro is a character that has been around for a long time. While I have not, as of yet, seen any of the other versions, this one seems to incorporate them all.

Zorro fights for the townspeople against the tyrannical government officials. He’s a masked man in all black and a cape who shows up to handle the bad guys. (Sound familiar?) But when everything is stripped away from him his sole purpose is to get revenge. Upon his return the legendary Zorro finds a man trying to drown his sorrows from his own loss. With a common enemy between the two of them, Zorro decides to pass his knowledge to another, so they can both avenge those taken from them.

Antonio Banderas is absolutely fabulous in this movie as both the comedic force and the passionate hero. As a boy his character idolized Zorro, but before his training is finished, he gets a little ahead of himself. He has some really big shoes to fill after all. He has this air of “I am Zorro and I can do anything,” and it’s brilliant. His character is so multidimensional that he brings this tale to life. He will win your heart over and you will be coming back for round two.

The only thing I would like to have seen is a clear passage of time once the training begins. The difference between Alejandro’s sword “skills” as a thief and then as Zorro is astounding, but they could have shown a little more of the time in between and some more of his training. But all in all I’m not complaining.

All the characters are great, and the actors are perfect. The sword play is crazy, and the stunts are too. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a good time. Sword fights, revenge, explosions, and the carrying on of a legacy, all wrapped up in “charm.”

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