Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Mask of Zorro

 Released Year: 1998
Directed by Martin Campbell

Casted by:
Antonio Banderas as Alejandro Murrieta / Zorro
Anthony Hopkins as Don Diego De La Vega / Zorro
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Eléna (De La Vega) Montero
Stuart Wilson as Don Rafael Montero
Matt Letscher as Captain Harrison Love
In 1821, Don Diego de la Vega a Spanish nobleman, fights against Spain in the Mexican War of Independence as Zorro, a mysterious avenger who defends the Mexican peasants and commoners of Las Californias. Don Rafael Montero, the cruel governor of the region, learns de la Vega's identity. Arresting de la Vega in his home, his beloved wife Esperanza is accidentally killed by one of Montero's soldiers. Montero kills the soldier for murdering Esperanza, imprisons de la Vega, and takes his infant daughter, Elena, as his own and leaves for Spain. Twenty years later, Montero returns from exile in Spain with Elena, who has grown into a beautiful woman, by his side. He is planning to turn California into an independent republic. However, his reappearance also awakens a long-dormant de la Vega, who has spent two decades living in anonymity during his imprisonment. He escapes from prison, and as he plans his revenge on Montero, de la Vega encounters a thief, Alejandro Murrieta, who, along with his brother, greatly admired Zorro as a child and even had a small hand in the hero's last great exploit.

After a brief period of deliberation, de la Vega decides to take Alejandro as his protégé. Inspired by the wish for revenge upon Captain Harrison Love, his brother's killer and Montero's right hand man, he endures the tough training regimen brilliantly. After Alejandro steals a black stallion resembling Toronado, Zorro's long deceased horse, and leaves Zorro's mark at the scene, de la Vega scolds him claiming that Zorro was a servant of the people, not a thief or adventurer. He challenges Alejandro to gain Montero's trust and pose as Don Alejandro del Castillo y García, a visiting nobleman, with de la Vega posing as his servant, Bernardo. Both attend a party at Montero's hacienda, where he gains Elena's admiration and titillation and enough of Montero's trust to be invited to a secret meeting. There, Montero hints at a plan to retake California for the Dons by buying it from General Santa Anna, who needs money to fund his upcoming war with the United States. Alejandro and the Dons are taken to a secret gold mine known as "El Dorado", where peasants and criminals are used for slave labor.

The plan is to buy California from Santa Anna using gold mined from Santa Anna's own land. Meanwhile, de la Vega uses this opportunity to become closer to Elena: still posing as Bernardo, he learns that Montero raised her telling her that her mother died in childbirth. De la Vega sends Alejandro, as Zorro, to steal the map leading to the gold mine: he duels Montero, Love, and their guards at the hacienda. When Alejandro escapes, Elena attempts to retrieve Montero's map. She fights him with a sword, but he uses his sword to strip off her clothing and seduces her, leading to a passionate kiss before he flees. Terrified of Santa Anna's retribution if he discovers that he is being paid with his own gold, Montero decides to destroy the mine, along with all its workers, to better hide all evidence. De la Vega tells Alejandro to release the workers on his own so that he can reclaim Elena: he corners Montero at his hacienda and reveals his identity, but is captured.

As he is taken away, Elena, inspired by a chance encounter at the market with a woman who had been her nanny, asks Montero the name of the flower that her mother had hung about her crib: when it is de la Vega who tells Elena that it is the Romneya, she realizes he is her father. She releases de la Vega from his cell and they proceed to the mine, which Zorro has begun to infiltrate. De la Vega stops Montero from shooting Zorro and the two duel. Meanwhile Zorro is confronted by Love and they duel. In the end, Alejandro avenges his brother by impaling Love with his own sword, and de la Vega sends Montero to his death by dragging him off a cliff behind a gold laden cart which crushes Love. Elena and Alejandro free the workers before the explosives go off, where they attend to the mortally wounded de la Vega. He makes peace with Alejandro before dying, passing the mantle of Zorro to him, and gives his blessings for Alejandro's and Elena's prospective marriage. They re-build the de la Vega hacienda and have a son named Joaquin, honoring Alejandro's brother.
 L² Scored: 6.5/10 

L² Comment:
Zorro is always been a mysterious hero for me :) He wore a mask and fight with a sword. Hmmm... Zorro gave me the impression of the sexy latino figure which was well presented by Antonio Banderas of course. The whole movie is not bad, but there are few parts which i feel quite dull and dry.

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