Antonio Banderas may have an unrivalled grasp upon female lust that us lesser mortal males can never hope to match, but it's impossible not to be swept up in his rousing performance as the masked swordsman, Zorro.
In a sea of CGI-filled blockbusters, "The Mask of Zorro" burst forth in 1998 with a mix of adventure and humour that had long been absent from the silver screen. Anthony Hopkins is the sprightly but aging Zorro. Imprisoned for years after humiliating those in power once too often, he makes a daring escape to exact his revenge upon the despicable Montero (Wilson), who presided over the death of his wife, and stole their newborn child.
What Zorro doesn't know is that Montero raised the baby girl as his own. When she returns 20 years later in the form of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Zorro decides to train-up the foul and scruffy Banderas into a new young Zorro, to defeat the evil Montero.
The training sequences alone are very funny, and there's witty humour laced throughout the entire movie. Director Martin "GoldenEye" Campbell is a master of marrying story with action, and creates a thoroughly modern adventure film, made up of distinctly old-fashioned ingredients.
The swordplay and fight choreography is a joy to watch, with impressive sets providing a fantastic backdrop to the movie. There are no clever ground-breaking effects, just lashings of good clean fun with desperately devilish baddies, and good guys so fantastic, so clever and witty, that they make you want to weep with pleasure.