The Mask of Zorro
Common Sense Media says
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this film is an action epic, featuring mostly sword fighting and some significantly intense moments of violence and (cartoonish) gore. The film is not suitable for any child who is easily upset by intense action or simulated gore. Teenagers are its target audience, but not much in the film would bother younger children that are used to Hollywood action clichés.
What's the story?
THE MASK OF ZORRO is built upon the development of the father-son relationship and engagingly explores the family dynamics that result. The story begins with Diego de la Vega's (Anthony Hopkins) capture by Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson), an evil American cavalry officer. Montero murders Zorro's wife and steals his infant child, Elena (Catherine-Zeta-Jones). Twenty years later, the former Zorro seeks to train a younger replacement so that he may avenge the death of his wife and retrieve his now-grown daughter. Zorro chooses Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas) as his protégé. Together, they battle Montero with courage and bravery.
Is it any good?
THE MASK OF ZORRO rises above the banal Hollywood action film, due to the fine performances of Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas as the old and young Zorros. The overall plot is quite engaging and offers the traditional fun of watching heroes vanquish evil villains. However, if viewing a high-quality film with your child is what you are after, it's best to look elsewhere.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the role adults have in training their children as future citizens. As with most action movies, the ambiguous morality of revenge is the film's central concern. Is it right for both Zorros to devote their lives to violence to avenge the wrongful deaths of their loved ones? When does justice become vigilantism? What is the proper role of individuals in righting clear social wrongs that are depicted in the film?