Franchise Weekend – The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: John Eskow, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Screenplay) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Randall Jahnson, Johnston McCuulley (Story)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Matt Letscher, Stuart Wilson, Tony Amendola

 

Plot: A young thief, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, is trained by the once great, but aged Zorro, who also pursues vengeance of his own.


Tagline – No one has seen his face….but everyone….knows this mark.

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure Film

 

Story: The Mask of Zorro starts when the Spanish are trying to control Mexico, Don Diego (Hopkins) has created an alter ego Zorro who has become the hero in the eyes of the Mexicans, when he is finally tracked down by Don Rafael (Wilson) who locks up Diego and raises his baby as his own.

Twenty years later Diego escapes from prison to extract his revenge, only to learn the Elena (Jones) has remained by Rafael’s side and instead of getting revenge himself, he trains Alejandro (Banderas) to become the new Zorro and icon for a nation.

 

Thoughts on The Mask of Zorro

 

Characters – Alejandro grew up idolising the great Zorro that helped free Mexico, though he turned into a lowlife thief who sees his brother killed and turning to the bottle he is saved by Diego who offers him a chance to use his skills to become the new Zorro as Mexico needs a new hero. He does lack the calm that Diego had in his time as the masked icon. Don Diego helped free a nation before seeing his wife killed and child raised by another man while he is locked in prison, once freed he sets out to train a new Zorro to help get his revenge. Don Rafael was once the closest friend of to Diego until the night he wants to stop him being Zorro and take his wife, he has continued his greedy lifestyle which makes the people he controls his latest victims. Elena is the grown up daughter Diego didn’t know he had, raised by Rafael as his own, she is knows the better life until Alejandro shows her something different.

PerformancesAntonio Banderas in the leading role is good run to watch, we know he has the authentic background for the role too. Anthony Hopkins is solid enough in this role, even if we are not sure if she is meant to be British of Mexican. Catherine Zeta Jones on the other hand is poor throughout, her accent is all over the place throughout the film. Stuart Wilson is fine without being anything memorable in the villainous role.

StoryThe story here follows the legendary figure of Zorro that helped Mexico become free from Spain, only it takes a twist on a revenge when an older version of Zorro must train a new icon to help him get the revenge and lift the hopes of a nation again. This won’t bring anything new to the adventure genre and can be fun for the story, the problem with the story is the length of the film which does drag after a while. If we can be serious this does feel like Zorro is the Mexican version of Robin Hood which does entertain and show us how another country has an icon of hope.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/Romance/WesternWe have a lot of genres that get touched on through this film, first the action the best part of the film because once we get into the sword fighting we get the best moments of the film. the adventure takes our heroes on the revenge mission, we do get a touch of comedy through the film with Alejandro getting the best parts of comedy. The romance does fall slightly short because we just don’t believe everything going on, with the western side of the film being fine and never the most believable.

SettingsThe film doesn’t use the settings to the best because you never truly believe we are at any of these locations.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Zeta Jones’s accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple, but fun adventure film that you can enjoy without needing to remember it by the end.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

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Unstoppable (2004)

logoDirector: David Carson

Writer: Tom Vaughn (Screenplay)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Jaqueline Obradors, Stuart Wilson, Kim Coates, Mark Sheppard, Adewale Akinnuote-Agbaje

 

Plot: The deranged military and former CIA agent Dean Cage (Snipes) is in rehab program, trying to forget the traumatic loss of his best friend Scott in Bosnia. When he dates with his girlfriend and Scott’s sister Detective Amy Knight (Obradors), in a dining restaurant he is mistakenly taken as being the CIA agent that is investigating the robbery of the military experiment XE by a man called Sullivan (Wilson). He is injected with the drug and abducted by the thieves. Amy has six hours to find the also stolen antidote and save Dean’s life.

 

Verdict: A fun straight to DVD action film

Story: When you see a straight to DVD film you don’t expect too much and what little you do expect you usually get. With this you think Snipes is just gonna kick ass and build up a body count. This time you get the kick ass but you also have to see him put in some acting with a lead character that can be exposed to different truths depending on who  tells them what. With plenty of different people after Dean we are left to wonder who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Wesley Snipes – Dean Cage ex solider haunted by the death of his best friend, who is the wrong guy in the wrong place falling into a war between illegal drug s sale and the CIA. Good performance by Wesley and he looks like he had a lot of fun with it. (8/10)

 snipes

Actor Review: Jacqueline Obradors – Det Amy Knight who is looking for her boyfriend Dean while the CIA are refusing to help her. Good tough cop performance who is driven. (7/10)

amy

Actor Review: Stuart Wilson – Sullivan the sales man testing the drugs before selling them onto the black market. Good performance but offers nothing new to the idea in the character. (6/10)

 sullivan

Actor Review: Kim Coates – Peterson one of the two bumbling hit men who Cage keeps getting the better off. Good performance adding a small bit of comedy to the role. (7/10)

 

Actor Review: Mark Sheppard – Leitch the other bumbling hit man that cage out smarts. Good performance that tries to be the smart one of the two henchmen. (7/10)

 leitch

Actor Review: Adewale Akinnuote-Agbaje – Agent Junod the guy the hit men are actually after who then has to track down the deal before it is too late. Standard performance playing the suit role well. (6/10)

 eko

Director Review: David Carson – Good direction to create a fun action without taking away too much of the serious side to it. (8/10)

 

Action: Good fight scenes and explosions. (7/10)

Thriller: Good thriller but never really excels. (7/10)

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Each setting is used well the mental home is used well for the confusion scenes for Cage. (7/10)

 

Suggestion: This is one of those Relaction films I enjoy watching and could easily be picked up at any stage of the film. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Escaping the mental home.

Worst Part: Would have like a more twisted villain.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final meeting.

Funniest Scene: While escaping the mental home Cage thinks it is on fire and releases all the patients.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Sit Back Enjoy

Rating 72