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João Pedro Rodrigues
The 21st successor to the role of Bengalla's resident superhero must travel to New York to prevent a rich madman from obtaining three magic skulls that would give him the secret to ultimate power. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
When the Phantom climbed through the elevator shaft as the elevator was descending upon him, he clearly went through on his stomach and then his legs.
Then, from the other side he appears that he was on his back and then rolled upward to stand up. The positioning changed as he went through the shaft and is not consistent. See more »
There's always a danger in bringing comic book heroes to the screen in that most are pretty bad. Some are satisfying, e.g., the Batman and Superman films come to mind. But, the Phantom was essentially a strip comic by Lee Falk that I used to read as a kid and which had been around long before me (I'll be 65 this year). I remember seeing the serial at the Saturday morning matinees and loved the comic strip. Time passes and the Phantom faded and then, in 1993, I went to Somalia as a consultant during the UNITAF occupation and was billeted with the Aussies. To my amazement, I discovered the Phantom was not only alive and well Down Under, but there were active comic books cults, conventions and the like there as well. So, no wonder the film enjoyed a revival of a defunct strip but, alas, there is much to be desired in the effort and the final product is almost a parody of the original. My wife and I saw it for a bargain matinee and I enjoyed it. However, I suffer few illusions that it could not have been done better. It was a romp and maybe, as one reviewer noted, Catherine Zeta-Jones was worth the price of admission. Well, for my part, I liked young Billy Zane's Phantom with the sheepish grin, Treat Williams's sardonic evil smile and Christy Swanson's Diana, a pleasant departure from her Vampire staking role as Buffy. It was also good to see Patrick McGoohan, former Secret Agent Man as the Phantom's predecessor. I think this film is worth the price of a rental for a rainy afternoon.
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