In Johnston McCulley's original pulp serials, Zorro was a sort of Robin Hood for Spanish colonial California, protecting the trod-upon lower class from rapacious politicians and their ilk. But in 1998's The Mask of Zorro, his quest is personal -- not only has his wife been murdered and his daughter stolen by a corrupt governor, but he's been locked away in prison for 20 years. It's a brilliant twist for the legendary character (played here by Anthony Hopkins), adding themes of mortality and vengeance to the swashbuckling action -- and it was further improved by the addition of Antonio Banderas as his blade-in-training. Alas, 2005's The Legend of Zorro failed to capitalize on this terrific setup, but that's what reboots are for, right?
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