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YMMV / The Mask of Zorro

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  • Anvilicious: Arguably, both films seem to carry a recurring trend that, when Zorro loses focus and starts thinking of his own gain or gratification, things go very wrong for him. (Significantly observable in the second film where everything turns around for Zorro after he prays for the strength to do what's right.)
  • Awesome Music: James Horner cuts loose with an outrageously fun, Latin-flavored score.
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  • Complete Monster: Captain Harrison Love works for Don Rafael Montero, but manages to be far worse. Hired by Rafael to kidnap and enslave local people for a gold mining operation, Love indulges his own perverse hobby on the side, collecting the body parts of the men he has killed and pickling them in his wine jars. Having gunned down Alejandro Marieta's brother Joaquin and partner, Three-Finger Jack, Love tries to force Alejandro to drink from the jars containing Joaquin's head and Jack's trademark hand as a form of psychological torture; he also tries to shoot through Don Rafael's daughter, Elena, when Zorro uses her as a shield. When Zorro exposes the existence of Don Rafael's gold mine to President Santa Anna, Love comes up with the idea of burying both mine and workers with explosives, an act that will kill thousands. When Zorro interrupts this attempted mass murder, Love taunts Zorro as they duel, telling him that "your brother would have shot himself by now." Described by Zorro as a "a very sick person", Captain Love was loyal only to his vices, and motivated only by the enactment of physical and psychological violence.
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  • Draco in Leather Pants: Don Rafael Montero gets this from the fans at times. By no means a one-dimensional villain, Montero does genuinely have a few positive traits despite being an otherwise ruthless villain. He's capable of fighting both Zorros on his own and isn't totally reliant upon his troops. Plus he genuinely does love Elena and tried to be as good of a father to her as possible, to the point he chastised Don Diego for thinking he would ever shoot her just to gain an advantage over him. And he does show a small hint of hesitation over blowing up all the workers in the mine. However a lot of fans have a tendency to take the few minor humanizing traits he has and exaggerate them to the point where they make Don Rafael out to be a loving father figure who would never harm Elena and deeply regrets the loss of innocent life. In the end, none of this detracts from the fact that he was willing to have multiple innocent people executed just to draw out Zorro. And it doesn't change the fact that he only became Elena's father because he fought the first Zorro in a duel that led to her mother's death in the first place and then took the baby Elena from Don Diego and had Don Diego put in prison for up to two decades, plus he had no problem pretending to be willing to shoot Elena to make Don Diego drop his weapon and leave him open for a fatal shot. And with regards to all the workers who slaved away in his mines, no matter how horrified he may have looked at Captain Love's suggestion to blow them all up, Don Rafael really had no qualms about enslaving those people and putting them into slave labor in the first place. Plus he outranked Captain Love to begin with and could have easily overridden his plan to kill all the workers but ultimately chose to go along with it in the span of only a few short seconds.
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  • First Installment Wins: The Mask Of Zorro is a great film, The Legend of Zorro... not so much.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • "The pointy end goes into the other man"? Someone's been getting swordfighting lessons from Arya Stark...
    • The I Am Spartacus scene, considering that Kirk Douglas, the original Spartacus, is Catherine Zeta-Jones' (Elena) father-in-law.
    • In this film, Captain Harrison Love (played by Matt Letscher) establishes himself as Alejandro's Arch-Enemy after murdering Alejandro's brother Joaquin. Sixteen years later, in The Flash (2014), Letscher plays Eobard Thawne, a villain who establishes himself as Barry Allen's Arch-Enemy after murdering Barry's mother Nora (and who has more than once disguised himself as Harrison Wells).
  • Magnificent Bastard: Don Rafael Montero is the corrupt governor of California and Zorro's arch-nemesis. Luring Zorro out by threatening to execute three innocent men, Montero is later forced to flee during the Mexican war of Independence, but not before discovering Zorro's true identity as Diego de la Vega. After Diego's wife is killed in the conflict, Montero sends Diego to prison and takes his baby daughter Elena for Montero's own, raising her for the next twenty years. Returning to California and winning over the people with his natural charisma, Montero intends to buy the land from General Santa Anna to craft his own Republic. Montero, however, intends to do this with 'El Dorado,' a mine he runs via slave labor that is on Santa Anna's own land, paying him with his own gold. During his final battle with his old nemesis Diego, Montero even takes Elena hostage for an advantage, before revealing he could never harm her, just before shooting Diego.
  • Nightmare Fuel: There's something really unsettling about Joaquin Murrieta's head floating in a jar of wine, particularly the eyes, staring away blankly. The best bit? This supposedly really happened to the real-life Joaquin.
  • Signature Scene: Zorro using his sword to render Elena topless.
  • Special Effects Failure: When Elena's top 'falls off' after Zorro slashes at it, it's clearly being pulled off by invisible strings from below the camera.
  • Tear Jerker: The finale of the prologue, as Don Diego loses everything he cared for: His wife gunned down in front of him, his child taken to be raised by his Arch-Enemy, his home burned to the ground, and his freedom.
    Diego: Rafael!! You'll never be rid of me! Rafael!!!!

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