The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Rating: B-

Dir: Martin Campbell
Star: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stuart Wilson

The major thing I took away from this film was a distinct desire to take up fencing. For the sword-fights are superb and lightning-fast: Dances With Blades would be a good alternate title. Banderas, Hopkins and Zeta-Jones are all good in their respective roles of student, mentor and totty; however, the villainish Spanish and Americans whom Zorro fights (or rather, the ZorroS fight) are curiously colourless and the plot…well, let’s gloss over the painfully shallow crypto-Marxism, shall we? Otherwise, it’s a warm blend of action, comedy and romance, handled with a firm grasp by Goldeneye director Campbell. Hopkins + Zeta-Jones, probably wisely, avoid major attempts at Spanish accents which, bizarrely, leaves Banderas sounding the dodgiest of the lot. Still, the urge to run down the street, with an umbrella and a pack of witty one-liners, was almost overwhelming.