On general release from Friday
The Mask of Zorro (above) is refreshing after a summer dominated by soulless, special-effects-driven blockbusters. In this sweeping, gleefully old-fashioned swashbuckler, the actors and the stunt artistes are the stars, not the backroom boys and their computers. A dignified Anthony Hopkins and a spirited Antonio Banderas are the ageing Zorro, masked defender of the oppressed, and the Mexican outlaw he moulds into his successor respectively. And in a star-making turn, Catherine Zeta Jones plays the film's sultry heroine, whose encounter with Banderas in a stable combines swordplay with seduction. Martin Campbell (Goldeneye), meanwhile, directs with a sure hand, only indulging in overkill (and arguably contextually dubious imagery) at the end. Under his deft guidance, a much-loved hero is thrillingly reborn.