After languishing in prison for twenty years, Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins) escapes captivity only to find that his old nemesis, Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson), has returned from Spain with new plans for the California territory. Finding that he is too old to fight the good fight effectively, de la Vega recruits Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) to take his place as the Mexican hero Zorro. After weeks of training, Murrieta is nearly up to snuff and is given the chance to enter Montero’s inner circle of conspirators. What he learns there angers him greatly and soon his sword is unsheathed in an attempt to protect the good people of California. Meanwhile, he finds that he has fallen in love with Motero’s beautiful daughter, who was stolen as an infant from his mentor.
"The Mask of Zorro" swashes every buckle on its way to cinematic greatness. It works as both an action film and a romantic drama, with a welcome dose of humor thrown in for good measure. Both Hopkins and Banderas make outstanding Zorros, while the supporting characters couldn’t be more perfectly cast. This lush and lovely adaptation of the oft-filmed tale is hands down the best ever. Finally a summer film worth standing in line for.