The Mask of Zorro, 1998
When the peasants need a fast-riding, swashbuckling, acrobatic hero, Zorro comes to the rescue. Anthony Hopkins’ Don Diego de la Vega, known to the peasants as Zorro, chooses to give his time and ability to defending the defenseless. But he can't always do it alone, so when two boys help scatter the enemy, so Zorro thanks them by giving one of them his necklace.
The two boys grow up and one dies. Antonio Banderas plays Alejandro Murrieta who takes his dead brother’s necklace and sets out for revenge. Diego finds Alejandro too drunk to win a fight and notices his necklace. Alejandro agrees to be taught by his hero, Zorro.
The story of the two men is the passion of the movie. A father without a son, and a son without a father. An older hero training the new hero. A master preparing the student for victory and for honor.
Alejandro tricks his way into Diego's mortal enemy Don Rafael Montero’s mansion for a party where Catherine Zeta-Jones’ character, Elena, falls for Alejandro. His dance with Elena is one of the best parts of the movie. Sure, he does a lot of sword fighting – and he’s really good at it – but the dance is why women watch this movie.
I loved how the heroic qualities of both Zorros were displayed. They're both creative, caring, and brave. And they show a sense of humor. But the thing that stands out is a sense of generosity. Both men were able to move to a better place and live in peace, but they chose to give their time and talent to serve the peasants. Both men risked their lives because they valued the lives of the people.
The fire in Alejandro’s eyes made this movie. But I loved Sir Anthony Hopkins’ acting, too.