Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital in SteelBook from director Martin Campbell and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the 25th Anniversary release of THE MASK OF ZORRO.
Nobleman Don Diego de La Vega (Anthony Hopkins) fights against the Spanish in 1821 but not as a regular man, but as Zorro, a masked man who helps the peasants of California. His rival in life and love is the corrupt Governor Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson) who wants Zorro taken down by holding a public execution of innocent peasants.
Of course, Zorro is going to be there but also, two brothers Alejandro and Joaquin Murrieta who take on Montero’s soldiers. When Montero begins to suspect who Zorro is, de la Vega’s home is barraged by soldiers wanting to arrest him. During a sword fight, chaos happens as Montero steals de la Vega’s daughter Elena and sends the man to prison.
The two boys, Alejandro (Antonio Banderas) and Joaquin (Victor Rivers) have become bandits and have a bounty on them both. Their nemesis is Captain Harrison Love (Matt Letscher) who also happens to work with Montero who has returned to California with daughter Elena (Catherine Zeta Jones). Now it is Alejandro’s turn to have Montero’s murderous happenings fall on his family.
When de la Vega hears of Montero’s return, he finds Alejandro and takes him on as a protégé to become the new Zorro. Taking on a stunning stallion named Tornado, de la Vega makes it clear that he is no longer a thief but a standard for the people he will be helping. Now, the transformation is nearly complete as Alejandro becomes Don Alejandro del Castillo y Garcia and with his loyal servant Bernardo.
Attending a gathering at Montero’s hacienda, Alejandro meets Elena and is struck by her but that is not the goal this particular evening. He learns that Montero’s plan is to basically steal California from the other Dons and buy it from General Santa Ana. When wondering where the money would come from for such a purchase, the nobles are taken to a mine called El Dorado.
That’s when Zorro makes his move because once it is known that slaves and peasants are being used to work the mines, de la Vega and Alejandro know what must be done. Now the swordplay and revenge meet one last time!
Banderas as Alejandro is absolutely perfect for Zorro and you will never hear me say otherwise. He is dashing, roguish, charming, swoon-worthy, and has a comedic sense of timing when it plays perfectly. From the moment he is on screen, Banderas is in high action mode, even when kissing the girl! Playing opposite Hopkins and Jones, this actor uses the energy to bring life to the Zorro I grew up watching. There is a little more humor but it is all in the context of a man coming into his own Zorro, call it Zorro 2.0 if you will.
Jones as Elena is equally charming and has the right amount of sass and skill that makes her the perfect match for Alejandro and Zorro for that matter. She is the good and devout daughter until she realizes she no longer has to be and then its game on. I enjoyed her portrayal as it comes at a time when women in film are beginning to find their power through these characters and Jones does that thinking credit.
Wilson as Montero is just plain bad to the bone but then anyone capable of doing what he did in the first 10 minutes of the film, could you expect things would change? Wilson is as dastardly as I would expect and he does it deliciously well. I enjoyed watching his character feel free to come and go into being every persons worst nightmare of a politician without so much as a scratch – well, almost.
Let us talk about Sir Anthony Hopkins as Don Diego de la Vega and can I say – wow. He carries himself with the world charm and grace of the Zorro I knew growing up. Yes, there was a Zorro in black and white on television people, come on now. Yet, this Zorro has a family and that is one step beyond the television character. He is not only dedicated to the people but now equally dedicated to the life he has created with Esperanza and Elena. Hopkins gives us a further look into that life of a character that has his own plans to make things right, well done sir.
Other cast include Julieta Rosen as Esperanza Del La Vega, William Marquez as Fray Felipe, Tony Amendola as Don Luiz, Pedro Armendariz Jr. as Don Pedro, Diego Sieres as Young Joaquin, and L.Q. Jones as Three-fingered Jack.
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THE MASK OF ZORRO is available in 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital in a stunning SteelBook that would look amazing in any home entertainment library shelf.
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Bonus Features on 4K Ultra HD include Feature Presented in High Definition, 5.1 Audio, Commentary with Director Martin Campbell, “Unmasking Zorro” Documentary, Two Additional Deleted Scenes and Music Video by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena.
THE MASK OF ZORRO is just an action-packed film from start to finish leaving very little down time (except for maybe a kiss or two). It is a story of love, family, betrayal, revenge, change and revelations that make for an amazing time for a home family night at the movies.
What I enjoyed the first time I saw the film in theatres was the ease in which these wonderful actors drew me into a world of so much action, tension and adventure that I remember hardly eating any of my popcorn! I saw the film with my daughter who was then in her mid-teens and she loved it then. Sitting down to watch the film on 4K Ultra HD, she remarked how it was such a great memory we were repeating at home on a comfy sofa but this time we planned to finish the popcorn.
That’s what film excellence is all about, bringing a story that endures as THE MASK OF ZORRO has. You can easily say it has been 25 years since its release but watching it today, it stands tall, colorful, proud and still frakken amazing. Banderas, Jones, Wilson and Hopkins are responsible for making it so. These actors of quality made the adventure big, saucy and fun while director Campbell put it all in a neat stunning film.
In the end – when freedom is a memory and justice is outlawed, then just must become outlaws!