DVD Reviews - The Mask of Zorro

      Date posted: February 29, 2000

The Mask of Zorro
The Mask Of Zorro: Martin Campbell, Director; Tri Star Home Video;
Anamorphic Widescreen; English Dolby Digital 5.1 & Subtitles; 137

      After watching The Mask Of Zorro, it’s hard to believe Catherine Zeta-Jones isn’t actually Spanish, and harder to accept that she’s really Welsh, such a convincingly swashbuckling senorita is she. Zorro is another big budget Hollywood film, with numerous sumptuous sets, and the creation of a slave-worked gold mine, which is not quite a recreated Titanic, but a huge edifice none the less.

     Like Zorro the younger, Antonio Banderas, many of us grew up watching the TV series starring Guy Williams, and Banderas brings a real flair to the role. The original Zorro who trains him is Anthony Hopkins, who is determined to overcome the tragedy of his wife’s murder and his daughter’s kidnapping, as well as bring justice and freedom to pre-American California.

      Zorro is an exciting and amusing romp, with evil villains for the two Zorros to vanquish and a cinematic canvas that is beautifully transferred to DVD, with vibrant colour in both interior and exterior shots, and very good detail and greyscale subtlety in the numerous night scenes. The sound is also very good, atmospheric and enveloping, with lots of things happening around you. The performances are all excellent, aided by a good script that keeps a complex story that covers the better part of a lifetime moving along swiftly, its pauses mostly to show the extraordinary beauty of Zeta-Jones, whom this movie has made a major star.

     I’m going to get myself in trouble again, by saying that this film is a much superior movie to Titanic, with better script, better direction and pacing by Martin Campbell, and superb performances from Hopkins, Banderas, and Zeta-Jones. Even the villains are more plausible.

Andrew Marshall

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