The Mask Of Zorro is pretty much the last decent one and that was ages ago.
Since then, we've had Open Range
, 3:10 to Yuma
, and True Grit
, not to mention such modern westerns (in spirit if not necessarily setting) as No Country for Old Men
, Once Upon a Time in Mexico
, and Premium Rush
. Cowboys and Aliens
, OTOH... yeah, that was awful.
Anyhow, funny you should mention Mask
. Stephen Greydanus writes
The main plot of The Lone Ranger steals from the original Mask of Zorro: White men plot to exploit and murder natives in order to steal the wealth of their land (silver rather than gold). There’s another corrupt General Custer cavalry type (Barry Pepper). Oh, and the patrician villain carries a torch for the hero’s woman (though in this case our hero himself is also carrying a torch for her, because she’s actually his brother’s woman).
Needless to say, the comparison only accents The Lone Ranger’s glaring deficiencies. The Mask of Zorro took nobility, honor and heroism as seriously as villainy: Anthony Hopkins’s Don Diego was a skilled, classy and cunning warrior, and Antonio Banderas played a scruffy rogue undergoing a grueling tutelage to become worthy of the mask of Zorro.
The Lone Ranger laughs at all this. John’s moral scruples make him ridiculous and naive, not admirable. His defining trait is not his morality, but his cluelessness.
Sounds almost Wild Wild West
bad... and 43 minutes longer!