Mask Of Zorro, The
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: -1/2

The wealthy landowner goes to the cave below his house, dons a mask and cape to fight evil doers. Another Batman sequel? Not quite, it's the original caped crusader of old California, Zorro. Whether you remember one of several movies from 1920 on or grew up with the Disney TV series, there's something about the legendary swordsman that makes you want to go out and put a Z on everything with your chalk-tipped plastic rapier. As the mysterious Zorro, Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) has undermined the rule of Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson). But even as Montero is recalled to Spain just before Mexico takes over California, he imprisons Diego. Diego's wife is killed in the arrest and Montero takes Diego's baby daughter to raise as his own. Twenty years later, Montero returns with Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and plans once more to control California. But his return gives Diego reason to escape. Alejandro Murieta (Antonio Banderas), and his brother are thieves. But Captain Love (Matt Letscher), a mercenary soldier working for Montero, kills Alejandro's brother. Diego finds Alejandro and trains him to take his place as Zorro and once more foil Montero's plans. With fantastic swordfights, stunt-filled horse chases, a sensuous dance, humorous dialogues and an honorable hero, THE MASK OF ZORRO brings old-fashion fun back to theaters.

As Zorro, Don Diego protects the poor people, oppressed under the rule of Montero. Montero select three peasants from the crowd to stand in front of a firing squad unless Zorro surrenders himself. Instead Zorro risks his life to free the unknown peasants. Diego also teaches Alejandro to control his anger rather and that helping protect those that need you is better than personal revenge. Alejandro changes from a petty thief to noble hero through the teaching and example of Diego. The main distraction is occasionally graphic violence. While swordfights are expected, some of the stabbings show the sword go through the victim. Love keeps the head of Alejandro's brother in a water jar. While sexual tension is apparent between Elena and Alejandro, there are no sex scenes. One scene features a lively but sensuous dance and a swordfight between the two implies partial nudity but none is shown. There is a brief scene of male rear nudity when a group of soldiers are tied naked around a cactus bush. THE MASK OF ZORRO would be a good old-fashioned family film but the graphic violence and brief nudity slightly tarnish the image.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Tri-Star

Crude Language: Few (3) times - mild
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Many times - moderate and severe (men shot, sword fights, sword stabbings - some graphic, hits & kicks, z cut on man's neck, man shoots self, man strangled, man hit w/cannonballs spits out teeth, crotch hit, severed head in bottle, severed hand in bottle, m cut on man's face, various falls of buildings & horses, explosions and fire
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Male rear nudity once (group of men tied around cactus), Low cut dresses, woman in underwear
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Sensuous kisses, woman's clothes cut off in swordfight
Drug Abuse: Alcohol drinking, cigar smoking, snuff used
Other: Honor shown, man stands up for oppressed, man learns to control anger
Running Time: 136 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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