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"The Phantom"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"The Phantom" More at IMDbPro »

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28 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Immortality does not forbid adaptation.

Author: JF Vidocq from France
3 July 2010

The most reoccurring complaint I see in the prior reviews of this Phantom TV movie is "He's nothing like the old phantom". I am inclined to retort: "So what?" Times change. Crime and injustice evolve, so does the technology that can be used by evildoers. It's only normal in terms of escalation that the Phantom evolves as well. In the old times, the spandex outfit was the Phantom's choice because it would confuse the enemy as well as conceal his real appearance, only nowadays Walker has to take armor piercing rounds and automatic weapons as a potential annoyance too. So yes, he'll wear something different. Same goes with that visor. It has to be both concealing and useful. What is true for technology and attire is also true in terms of psychology. This Phantom reflects his own time. Tradition is not totally forgotten, the whole ritual experience on the lair island is there to remind of all that makes the Phantom who he is. The horse? The dog? You wouldn't bring these to a modern fight, unless you want them minced.

Bottom line: Suck it up buddies, the Phantom we grew with did the same thing we all do. He aged, he died, he got replaced. What is immortal is the concept of the Phantom and in order to survive, all things have to adapt. Including the Ghost Who Walks.

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28 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Amazing Adaptation!

Author: stingblade
21 June 2010

The Phantom (starring Ryan Carnes in the title role) tells the story of a superhero who serves as the defender of justice for all.

The mini-series, which also serves as a pilot for a potential television series, has enough action and romance to make you forget its length. The adaptation of the Phantom gives us a superhero with a clear-cut and unbendable knowledge of right and wrong that has been mostly lacking in the modern superhero movie era.

Those already familiar with the comics will find enough of the comics' elements in the mini-series to satisfy the spirit, if not the absolute letter. However, purists of the comics and those unwilling to suspend some disbelief will find extreme difficulty in enjoying a mini-series that brings the franchise into the 21st Century.

If there are any defects to this show, it is at times when the mini-series works too hard at looking like a pilot, having many scenes throughout to serve as the background for future plots and character development. Especially the final scene (Which I won't give away) that could have served well as the cold opening for the first episode of the first season.

This series is well worth watching. Here's to hoping SyFy can make a cut in the Roger Corman Knockoffs Deptartment to give The Phantom chance it deserves. After all, no one refuses the Phantom.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

The Phantom in the Twentieth-First Century

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
12 February 2013

In New York, the twenty-four year-old Chris Moore (Ryan Carnes) is on the last semester in the Columbia Law School and is a practitioner of Parkour. When his friend has an accident practicing the sport with him, the paramedic Renny Davidson (Cameron Goodman) helps them and Chris and Renny immediately fall in love with each other. However Chris is arrested by the police but Renny's father, Detective Sgt. Sean Davidson (Ron Lea), releases him. When Chris arrives home, his parents make him promise that he will study a lot to not fail in the upcoming exams.

A couple of days later, Chris dates Renny and while he is returning home alone, he is abducted by a group in a van. Soon the leader of the group, Abel Vandermaark (Jean Marchand), explains to him that he is a foster son and his real name is Kit Walker. He is the twentieth-second generation of The Phantom, the ghost who walks, and they belong to his organization Bpaa Thap that helps The Phantom to fight the crime along the centuries. Chris does not believe on his words but when he returns home, he finds his beloved parents murdered and the two criminals waiting for him. Chris flees and one killer dies in an accident. He calls Vandermaark and they travel with Guran (Sandrine Holt) to Bangalla, where he is trained to be The Phantom. Meanwhile the evil Singh Brotherhood led by the cruel Raatib Singh (Cas Anvar) is plotting a scheme using the technology developed by Dr. Bella Lithia (Isabella Rossellini) to kill the charismatic leader Jalil Ben-David (Jason Caselli) and begin a worldwide war.

"The Phantom" is an adaptation of my favorite childhood hero, The Phantom, in the Twentieth-First Century. I saw this movie yesterday on DVD in an edited version of 150 minutes running time and despite of the flaws, I liked the story and found it very entertaining.

The Phantom follows the family tradition, and the uniform has been used since 1536. Therefore, there is no reasonable explanation for the twentieth-second The Phantom to wear different clothing. The uniform could have been improved, but is colors and shape should have been kept the same.

Abel Vandermaark is a contradictory character and the conclusion of the story is not good. Nevertheless my wife and I have enjoyed a lot this free-adaptation of this forgotten hero. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O 22o Herdeiro" ("The 22nd Heir")

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Where is the Phantom?

Author: buiger from Monaco
26 May 2012

The Phantom was one of my favorite comics when I was a kid, so my excitement was understandable when I sat down to watch this movie. Alas, the excitement waned almost immediately. This was not a movie worthy of the comic strip, it hardly had anything to do with it whatsoever. It was overly 'modernized', apparently in order to adapt it to the 21st century... Why on earth would you want to do that? It looks more like a music video than an action flick.

Another major problem is the casting of the main character; Ryan Carnes would be much more believable impersonating a teenage MTV pop star than he is starring as the Phantom. And then there is the costume... Suffice it to say that it looks totally ridiculous, and it has nothing to do with the Phantom. The set decoration is rather tacky (I believe due to budgetary restrictions), the cinematography and sound are average, so there is really nothing that really stands out in this movie. Large TV productions have accustomed us to much better products in recent years. It's a pity really, the idea to film the Phantom was a good one, but it should have been done in a different way, a completely different way.

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Didn't know it was a made for TV movie

Author: cudaseeker-1 from USA
26 December 2010

I didn't know when I rented this DVD that it was an unrated made for cable TV movie. So when I popped the disc into the player and there were previews for SYFY shows, and then I saw "Play part 1" and "Play part 2", I thought, Oh boy this is going to be a wasted 3 hours. I was pleasantly surprised. This TV movie was actually done very well. The acting was good, the effects were good and the story was pretty easy to follow, but also had some nice twists to it that kept it interesting all the way through. I never got into the Phantom comics, so I don't know how true it stayed to the history of them, and so I didn't care about that aspect of it. It was just an enjoyable few hours spent with the family, watching a pretty darn good TV movie. There were a few scenes of graphic violence that would rate this a PG-13, so if you have little ones, it may be too violent for them. I hope it gets turned into a SYFY series. I will watch it if it does.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

I thought this was pretty good.

Author: reginag-2
26 June 2010

Perhaps it's because I know nothing of the Phantom, but I enjoyed this quite a lot. I don't usually pay much attention to CGI if the concept and characters are compelling, and I found they were here. I did notice (after reading the reviews here) that the jet was not very realistic, but that took little away from the overall storyline.

I was particularly satisfied with the involved plot line that didn't telegraph the ending. Yes, it was basically good against evil, but the characters were well done, the pace was quick and the leads were charismatic. I'd like to see the romantic angle developed and an heir for the Phantom. I loved the lair and the locations, but the Indians I could've done without.

I look forward to seeing SyFy pick this up.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not very good at all

Author: Wizard-8 from Victoria, BC
26 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember not being very impressed by the 1996 Phantom movie with Billy Zane, so when I stumbled across this made-for-TV effort to revive the character, I was open to watching it in the hope it would be a lot better.

It doesn't take long in watching this two-part movie to determine that it was intended to be the pilot of a proposed TV series. The proposed series never happened, and after watching this sorry mess, I think that was a good thing. So many things go wrong in this retelling of the Phantom legend. The production values are erratic - some scenes look expensive and slick, while other scenes look downright cheap. The "updated" costume of the hero looks frankly ridiculous, and will have you wonder why the filmmakers bothered to get the rights to The Phantom if they didn't have a costume that looked like the classic Phantom getup. The telling of the story is really muddled - some plot points (like why the hero was never told by his adoptive parents that he was adopted) are never explained in enough detail. And at three hours in length, the movie is WAY too long.

There's one good bit in the movie - the prolonged assassination attempt near the end - but that's too little, too late. Other than that sequence, this modernized update is a complete misfire. The only good it manages to do is to make people realize that the 1996 movie wasn't as bad as they remember.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Not a very good adaptation

Author: jtorres007-67-504299 from New York
30 May 2011

I am an original Phantom reader and saw the movie back on 1996 with Billy Zane which was more truthful to the character than this adaptation. They try to modernize the character to a point that is almost unrecognizable. The origin has gaps in it that it doesn't explain. The acting is non-existent and a lot was changed from the original version. But what can you expect from a movie made for the SciFy channel and made by Canadians? Nothing personal against Canada but trying to do their own version of an American icon when they don't know much about the character this is what happens. It is like a Chinese movie studio trying to do a version of Superman without devoting time to really know the character. Of course they going to add their own interpretation and the result will be something different to what we are used to see.

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19 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Let Him That Walks Forever quickly walk away from here!!

Author: johannes2000-1 from Netherlands
16 June 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The box promised sci-fi, tons of action, and a young and dashing hero, and all that in the name of the good old Phantom, and then there was the name of Isabella Rossellini to boot, so I purchased this mini-series without any hesitation. Boy, was I disappointed! It's like watching an outstretched (3 hours!) episode of some adventurous sitcom on some children's TV-channel: this movie does not rise above the level of 12 year old schoolboys.

We of course know The Phantom and his history. Here they tried to use the old story in an updated, nowadays fashion: we get high tech 007-like gadgets, a new Phantom-outfit, some 21th century political context (Middle East conflict) and and abundant use of cell-phones. So okay, there's nothing wrong with upgrading and actualizing an old concept, at least if it's well done.

Well, it isn't. It's like everything and everyone in this movie is made into a caricature: the characters, the action-scenes, the plot, the scenery, the script, everything! Even Isabella Rossellini (how badly did she need THAT pay-check?!?) is changed into an ugly, whining and disinterestedly bad-acting old hag. The bad guy is a scream: it's Bollywood on it's cheesiest, and his supposedly fearsome Sing-brotherhood consists of a dozen or so timid ladies and gentlemen that sit dullfuly around a conference-table and look like frightened rabbits in a suit and tie. The Phantom's loyal servant is equally bloodless and irksome. The high-tech Phantom-suit that everyone is raving about, looks like your plain old motorcycle suit, including the helmet and eye-shades. The cave where the Phantom lives, located on some deserted tropical island, looks hilarious, like something that you could build in your back yard and use for flowerpots. Outside there is this small circle-shaped arena (where at one moment out of the blue a bunch of savage natives appear who attack poor Kit only to cheer him afterwards because it was some sort of weird test) and inside we are made to believe that it conceals a vast area of high-tech scientific facilities and dozens of workers in appropriate white coats, who appear to be terribly busy with running around, watching big monitors and frantically typing things on their computer keyboards as if the world depends on it (so they seem to think).

And Kit (actor Ryan Carnes)? Well, he sure is good looking and athletic and charming enough to make a convincing go for it, but the script is so bad and the things they make him say and do are so painfully stupid that he doesn't stand a fair chance. The supporting cast (a bunch of nitwitty technicians on both sides) is sadly amateurish. The only ones that come out unharmed are Cameron Goodman as the love-interest, she's beautiful and a good actress and strong personality; and Sandrine Holt as some sort of Phantom's assistant, she's a fascinating classical beauty and her part is so unrewarding, with only some loitering in the background and looking very understanding and wise, that there was hardly any possibility to go wrong there.

There is a plot: the bad guy and his sinister brotherhood (the dull conference-table!) are trying to plunge the world into chaos and war by scheming up some far fetched conspiracy, (but why they do this, is beyond me!), while the good guys (Kit and his unpronounceable Phantom-brotherhood) are trying to prevent this. It takes a few car-pursuits, some fights and one explosion, but then all's well again. Except that the loyal servant is exposed as a con (wow: the Unavoidable Twist!) and rises from his supposed death to join the enemy as their new leader. The end.

I'm sorry, this movie is bull. And the biggest disappointment: it takes itself way too serious, there isn't even a hint of humor or tongue-in-cheekness. My advice: try the 1996 version by director Simon Wincer: it's far superior by every account, the story, the acting, the wonderful 1920's setting, the campy atmosphere and above all: the fun in it!

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13 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

This is a great show.

Author: awebsmith
22 June 2010

This is a thoroughly enjoyable show. So often both the television directors and the television critics feel that television must deliver some kind of message or have some type of grand esoteric meaning, but most television programs are simply just for entertainment. Thankfully, this particular program does exactly what it is supposed to do--entertain. Additionally, I really like the characters, Guran (played by Sandrine Holt) and Renny (played by Cameron Goodman), so this show works for me on more than one level. This is only television, it is not theater class at an expensive university. Others seem to have unrealistic expectations of just what television can and does deliver to the masses.

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