This revival of the swashbuckler genre with its unique blend of derring-do and romance will carve its mark on your consciousness. Director Martin Campbell has orchestrated all the action elements here into a fine dance of drama that appeals mainly to the heart.

Zorro, the defender of the downtrodden, is Don Diego de la Vega (Anthony Hopkins). After 20 years in prison, he escapes, vowing to extract revenge upon Don Rafael (Stuart Wilson), the imperious Spaniard responsible for the death of his wife and the abduction of his infant daughter Elena. Fate brings him together with Alejandro Murrieta (Antonio Banderas), a thief who has a score to settle with Captain Harrison Love (Matt Letscher), a henchman for Don Rafael who is now scheming to take control of California.

It is a treat to watch the crafty old Zorro train the young one. Alejandro's fire must be tempered by practice and patience. Zorro, after all, is a hero who serves the people. Antonio Banderas was born to play this role and he exudes all the requisite charm and enthusiasm. Anthony Hopkins vividly conveys the steel will and emotional vulnerability of Don Diego. And Catherine Zeta-Jones is extraordinary as the free-spirited and tempestuous grown-up Elena.