The Mask Of Zorro (1998)

Rating: ****
Release Date: 7/17/98
Producer: Steven Speilberg
Director: Martin Campbell
Music: James Horner
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Wow! What a fun and exciting film this turned out to be! An old and imprisoned Zorro escapes from jail after twenty years of incarceration. To exact his revenge, he trains a young and brash man who also has a score to settle. The two of them team up and defeat the nasty bad guys (who all happen to be politicians or generals) and free the oppressed peasants. Anthony Hopkins is great as the old and wise Zorro and Antonio Banderas is wonderful. Who thought that he could handle comedy so gracefully? His presence and physicality is great, and he pulls off some great stuff. And then there's the impossibly beautiful and seductively charged Catherine Zeta-Jones. Good god. I know she was heavily made up, but damn she is hot! She also handles a sword quite nicely, I might add. The swordplay is fascinating. Finally, some competent editing and unintrusive camerawork lets us see what's going on in the combat sequences, and they're AWESOME. And then there's that monstrous explosion at the end of the film that's just amazing. Wow. The music score was a little too reminiscent of "Willow" (1988), but still very good. Great fun.