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New Straits Times » Features

CINEMA: When a hero marries...
Gerald Chuah

Oct 27:
Directed by Martin Campbell
Starring Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Nick Chinlund, Adrian Alonso

ZORRO rides again but the days of the masked man may be numbered as now he is a family man saddled with the rigours and responsibilities of married life.

Don Alejandro finds himself caught in a dilemma, between his obligation to serve the oppressed and threatened people of California and his responsibilities as husband and father.

The action-adventure film, which has captured the imagination of movie audiences for decades with its sword-fighting sequences, now comes with the addition of comedy and romance, perhaps to appeal to fans who now have families of their own.

Zorro loses his mask early in the show, leading to a series of unfortunate events that set the stage for his divorce.

Imagine Zorro losing his cool at a party, with his beautiful wife in the hands of another man, and ending up drunk and talking to his horse.

Despite the advent of computer-generated superheroes, it is interesting to note movie studios still have faith in resurrecting the classic action heroes. Zorro’s adventures have spawned titles like Zorro’s Fighting Legion, Zorro the Gay Blade, Zorro Rides Again and The Mask of Zorro.

Perhaps it is the adventure western classics have to offer, besides the chemistry between the two main actors –– Antonio Banderas as Don Alejandro or Zorro and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Elena.

The handsome couple shared the big screen in 1998 in The Mask of Zorro, propelling the Welsh beauty with her porcelain looks to international fame. Despite being married with two children, Zeta-Jones still sparkles.

Set in 1850 several years after the conclusion of the previous adventure, Don Alejandro and Elena are now married and have a 10-year-old son, Joaquin (Adrian Alonso). Joaquin is mischievous boy who idolises Zorro. He misses his father, who is rarely at home, and has no idea that both are the same person.

Though Zorro continues to don the mask and protect the poor and oppressed from the greed of the overlords, he is torn between his duties and his desire for a more normal life. Elena asks: “You fight for the freedom of the people but what about our freedom?”

When an unexpected crisis forces Alejandro to don the mask once again, Elena feels betrayed and forces Alejandro to choose between his family and his crusading alter ego. When he decides to heed his call of duty, she soon serves him with divorce papers.

When a former schoolmate of Elena’s, the French aristocrat Armand (Rufus Sewell), moves to California to start a winery, he is thrilled to discover that Elena has separated from her husband.

He immediately begins to woo her. He is the head of the Knights of Aragon, a secret ancient fraternity which tries to destroy America.

Another dastardly criminal is corrupt robber baron McGivens (Nick Chinlund), a gunman hired to do Armand’s dirty work.

Mixing religion with violence, he intimidates the law-abiding residents of California by seizing their land and threatening their livelihoods.

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Other articles:
» CINEMA: And so it is ... doomed!
» CINEMA: Love's in the air
» AUDIO VISUAL: Speakers with customised finish
» AUDIO VISUAL: Solid performer
» AUDIO VISUAL: New heights of realism
» BOOK REVIEW: Chronicles of a war correspondent
» ‘Paradise’ in the heart of the city
» Clash of the titans
» Fireworks queen
» A sweet and enduring legacy
» COVER STORY: Back where he started

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