Mask of Zorro, The

Reviewed By Ryan Arthur
Posted 08/20/98 13:57:20

"Holy crap! This movie DIDN'T suck!"
4 stars (Worth A Look)

Will someone please send me all the 8x10 glossies they have of Catherine Zeta Jones? Thank you.

Going in to all the summer movies I saw, I expected this one to suck the most. I was pleasantly surprised.

It's a decent flick, kind of a high-adventure-type deal in the vein of the Indiana Jones series. Zorro is one of the most recognizable (and one of the most often portrayed) characters in almost any media, and it was interesting to see how badly it would be screwed up if given a 90's spin.

It wasn't.

It's old Mexico. And while there are elements of humor, it's not pop culture references left and right. It's got swordplay, for cryin' out loud. How many movies give you elegantly choreographed swordplay in place of crappy CGI effects? Not very many. It's a welcome change of pace.

I had my doubts about Banderas. I haven't liked a lot of his previous work, and to be honest, he's often times hard to understand with that thick accent of his. But he surprised me. He's got the panache, the charisma, to pull off what is probably the best role of his career. What's more, he's got incredible chemistry with Catherine Zeta Jones. It's nice to have two leads that can simmer on screen, rather than be like a couple of mannequins (take note Fiennes and Thurman). Chemistry is vital as Zeta Jones falls for the man behind the mask. It works.

And finally, Anthony Hopkins. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. He could read the phonebook aloud and I'd find it riveting.

What's bad? The second villain. The American captain (whose name escapes me) just isn't sinister enough. Granted, while Hopkins chases his old nemesis around, the new Zorro DOES need something to do, but the bad guy, in this case, isn't really a bad enough guy.

On the whole, though, The Mask Of Zorro is a good flick, especially for the family. The violence isn't gory, the sex appeal is all smoldering looks and passionate kissing, and there's nary a swear word to be found. And Catherine Zeta Jones is a hottie.

Yes, Antonio, with this we forgive you for "Two Much." But not "Assassins."

© Copyright HBS Entertainment, Inc.