Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Mask of Zorro (1998) Review:

Not many films start off with an interesting introduction. However, director Martin Campbell did a great job at bringing a new Zorro to take over the old aging Zorro. The way the characters act, the time that is put into making Zorro is done meticulously and it shows. It's great to see how everything in the plot starts out simple and then becomes more complex. Once the complex situations start to arise, the execution of it is beautiful.

Is that not spicy or what?
After becoming famous for being El Mariachi in Desperado (1995), Antonio Banderas is cast as the new Zorro to take over. Because Banderas is of Hispanic decent, the role of Zorro really fits him. So who's the old Zorro - none other than Anthony Hopkins. What makes Hopkins great as the older Zorro was the fact of how he became the mentor for Banderas. And although for the most part when he's lecturing, he's very serious, yet he shows that he still has a lot of energy for being elderly. Along side those two actors is Catherine Zeta-Jones, the daughter of the original Zorro. When Jones and Banderas are together, they have really great chemistry. My favorite part is when they were dancing together; it's very sexy and culturally attractive.

Even Zeta-Jones knows how to use a sword!
The action sequences in this film are really something to behold. Much of it also entails a bit of comedy too. This is all helped by Banderas' charm as the new Zorro. It is because he is new and inexperienced that he makes things funny. The sword fights are really cool to see. The style that is put into using the sword in this film is truly whimsical. Much of these events take place with Banderas, Hopkins or the villains they're fighting. However, we do get a glimpse of Jones using the sword for a while too. It's nice to see some female domination in a setting like this because in the time that this took place, obviously women were not expected to take on a male's role such as that.

Finally, the two other elements that make this movie great are the music and the plot. The music was composed by veteran James Horner. I really liked the way Horner captured the feel of the environment during the setting of the story. Much of the soundtrack has Hispanic instruments and it is obvious when listened to. And that is the icing on the cake. As for the story, I was pleased with how it was carried out. In the beginning of the film, the story was about a man only looking out for others but then landed in trouble. So who rescues him out of his trouble - a friend he made from years past. Not to mention his friend falls in love with the troubled man's daughter and the troubled man resolves his problems. The end result of this film is more than satisfying, and it will make viewers look inside themselves for what values they stand for.

It can be interpreted as The Three Musketeers (1993) spin-off with a Hispanic twist, but for the record, this film holds its own and is really entertaining to watch. The performances are more than gratifying, the action is wondrous and the music is very lively.

Points Earned --> 10:10

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