Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA/Germany, 1998. TriStar Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, David Foster Productions, Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Company Medien KG, Zorro Productions. Story by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Randall Johnson, Screenplay by John Eskow, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio. Cinematography by Phil Meheux. Produced by Doug Claybourne, David Foster. Music by James Horner. Production Design by Cecilia Montiel. Costume Design by Graciela Mazon. Film Editing by Thom Noble. Academy Awards 1998. European Film Awards 1998. Golden Globe Awards 1998.
Enjoyable but bombastically loud update of the popular Zorro legend which hasn’t been seen legitimately on screen since Tyrone Power in the 40s (George Hamilton doesn’t count). Antonio Banderas is a street thug trained by the mask-wearing Zorro (Anthony Hopkins) to take over his place now that he is going into retirement. The new Zorro has to save California from evil, crooked politicians and restore Hopkins’ long-lost kidnapped daughter (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to his home. How does he do it? Effortlessly, of course! Unfortunately director Martin Campbell doesn’t, and the film’s more enjoyable moments (the swordfighting, Zorro’s flamenco with the heroine) are mired in ineffective character development and endlessly boring explosions. Zeta-Jones made her mark in Hollywood with this film, but her role is so flimsy it’s really a credit to her that she managed to keep people’s interest after they had all seen it.