Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California's pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) -- and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) -- to take action.
"The Masked Avenger" has been a staple of movie and TV fare ever since the 1920 Douglas Fairbanks classic THE MARK OF ZORRO; inevitably, his popularity led to the character being picked by other countries as well, often in low-brow productions, with perhaps the most successful of these being the 1974 film entitled simply ZORRO (starring Alain Delon). Anyway, this is one of those dime-a-dozen efforts (I missed out on a couple of others not too long ago but, since this got shown over last year's Christmas period, I opted to have it taped for later viewing); as is often the case with such undemanding (and modest) pictures, it proves instantly forgettable but reasonably entertaining nevertheless. Opening with a stagecoach robbery, the film does feel like a Western most of the time, which is not in itself a bad thing; another palpable incongruity is the fact that Zorro's alter-ego is not that of a foppish aristocrat but rather a vaguely sycophantic valet (apart from which, in the guise of one Tony Russell, he sports graying hair albeit retaining the trademark dashing features)! Again, predictably, he is made to rout a usurping governor and the girl who idolizes him (and whom he secretly loves) not only despises the valet for his apparent treason but is even engaged to marry an eminent town member who resents her affection for Zorro and, naturally, ultimately sacrifices himself for the good of the cause; his sidekick, then, is a young inventor (that is, not very adept at derring-do) while the villain's burly lieutenant provides the obligatory comic relief. It is futile to give more details about the plot since, to be honest, I cannot recall more than I have already described I do know, however, that the title is a reference to nothing in particular nor are any of the action set-pieces throughout exactly outstanding; I will just say that the film supplies the right ingredients for an evening's relaxation and leave it at that
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