"It's a fun, rip-snortin' adventure flick. Enjoy!"
Chances are that it sucks, right? Wrong.The Hollywood action flick is dying. Trust me on this.
As the menaces become more and more cosmic and the "heroes" become more homogenized and just plain more DULL, there's not a lot of enjoyment or human connection left in the bread-and-butter of the studio system. But occasionally a flick that gets it right comes along, and you just hope beyond hope that someone catches a clue and inserts a little joie de vivre back into the mix. One of those flicks is "Mask of Zorro."
Again, the plot doesn't matter much, but it's better than average in this case, playing up the a nice retribution/revenge scenario. The good guys (Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas, the old Zorro and new Zorro, respectively) are noble, the bad guys are wicked (though they could certainly use a little more polish), and the love interest (Catherine Zeta Jones) not only ties all the various forces together, but she's strongheaded and spirited, to boot.
None of the performances are spectacular, even the stately and effective Hopkins, but they're far away from sucking. It just seems like everyone is having fun and enjoying being in a project that doesn't insult one's intelligence very often. Banderas, who's not a bad actor but often ends up in not-so-good projects, is a charming kick, and Catherine Zeta Jones makes me forget other women even exist on the planet. She doesn't really have a lot to do, but she does whatever she does with a commanding presence.
Some of the proceedings are somewhat silly, but the sex and violence levels are acceptable for a family audience. And ya gotta love any flick where there's lots of swashbuckling swordplay and stunt-riding. Right?
Heck, I wouldn't mind a sequel, as long as its carried off with this level of panache. Hats (and masks and capes) off to director Martin Campbell and company for a job well-done.They should make more of 'em this way.