Elder Zorro has been in prison for many years, harbouring bitter feelings towards the man who cost him his freedom, murdered his wife and adopted his daughter. Don Rafael Montero is an evil man whom Zorro will once and for all foil his schemes. However, this means that the elder Zorro must train a new, young Zorro.

3.5
Ultimately this is another Hollywood package, a series of quite impressive action sequences sewn together with all the elements the marketing experts think we might like.

The Mask of Zorro combines a number of disparate talents – firstly there's Antonio Banderas who's achieved fame as a heartthrob around the world without having starred in a single majorly successful American movie. In this he's centre stage as a young man who inherits the mantle of the legendary hero from the original, played by Anthony Hopkins. The older Zorro has been in prison for years, nursing bitter feelings towards Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson), who killed his wife and subsequently adopted his baby daughter, Catherine Zeta Jones plays her as an adult. Banderas' evolution into a new, young Zorro is spurred on by the death of his brother at the hands of Captain Harrison Love (Matt Letscher), one of the Don's men. But the older Zorro proves a hard taskmaster, and the young one a feisty pupil.

There are such expectations with a film like this. It begins with something that actually resembles exhilaration but then it tends to get bogged down in story and who did what to whom and a bit of zing goes out of it. Anthony Hopkins is, I think, incredibly important to the film, he gives it a weight that it ultimately needs. Antonio Banderas is cute and charming, Catherine Zeta Jones is pretty.

The director was Martin Campbell who made us all sit up and take notice of him years ago when he made the television series Edge of Darkness. His latest film was the Bond film Goldeneye. But ultimately this is another Hollywood package, a series of quite impressive action sequences sewn together with all the elements the marketing experts think we might like, with a bit of cut and thrust thrown in. I wish the powers that be would believe in what they're dishing out to us, so we could too.