Monday, August 18, 2014
Print the Legend: Thoughts on Viewing an Old Favorite
Here it is. Anthony Hopkins gets three minutes and forty seconds to play the myth of Zorro, before the story does something unprecedented--it crashes the old Fox's last party, strips him of everything, and leaves him dark and embittered.
But for that 3:40, Hopkins gets to play the hell out of the legend.
Reality crashing into a legend and chewing it up is nothing new--think of Beowulf--he defeats Grendel and his fearsome mother, only to be, in the end called upon one more time, against insuperable odds, to take on a dragon, in his old age.
Zorro never re-appears in the movie--or, rather, not the original Zorro. We get the wreck of Don Diego, in his ruined lair, preparing a new Zorro:
Diego plays his part in the finale, but the mantle has passed. Like Beowulf before him, he is ready to meet his bane:
He dies, of course, a hero's death--but nonetheless, Zorro lives on, in the form of his successor. Legends tend to do that, too.