The Phantom (1996)
Plot: Set in the 1930’s, a powerful New York criminal (Treat Williams) attempts to unite three ancient skulls born from an evil pirate brotherhood centuries old. The only one who can stop him is the Phantom (Billy Zane), a descendant of heroes born hundreds of years ago from an ancient jungle tribe.
This one was a real chore. The Phantom wastes no time in propelling you right into an abyss of crap and piss poor story telling. Not only is this boring, but it’s impossible to follow. It’s one thing to not reveal every little detail until later on in the movie, but you need to at least establish the basic premise of what the hell is going on. I really thought I was missing film reels. I had no idea what was happening in the first twenty minutes. There’s talk of a bunch of skulls, an evil brotherhood, and random ghosts are disappearing and reappearing…what is this crap? And what are the Phantom’s powers exactly? He just shoots guns. What is so great about this purple moron? I also hate when movies just say, “Oh, the villain is looking for a great power source.” Come on! What does that power source do? You can’t just say power! But the real issue with this crap film goes back to the fact that they don’t fully explain everything until the very end. You can’t do that, otherwise instead of enjoying the action scenes (which suck by the way), I’m to busy thinking about the basic aspects of the plot. And Billy Zane should be no where near a superhero movie, or any movie for that matter. Yikes. Aside from a decent villain (Treat Williams), the two female leads (Kristy Swanson and Catherine Zeta Jones), and a small cameo from the guy who plays Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), this movie is boring, confusing, and simply blows bags.
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Really Bad)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout)
Best Performance: Treat Williams as Xander Drax
-This is the main villain, and he at least brings some energy to the movie. He’s funny, and I love how he kills people so nonchalantly.
Worst Performance: Billy Zane as Kit Walker/the Phantom
-I have to admit, it’s pretty amazing when you can talk in the same exact monotone voice for an entire movie.
Best Line: “You figure it out!” –Diana to Sala
-Basically Sala is mocking Diana for loving the Phantom, and Diana asks Sala if she cares about anything. Sala retorts with, “What is that supposed to mean,” and then we get this “figure it out” line from Diana. This was well delivered, and a great reaction from Catherine Zeta Jones. There was actually acting and character development going on here, and the lines were pretty slim-pickens in terms of choices.
Worst Line: “I contracted malaria, mother” –Diana
“That’s nice.” -Lily
-Okay, what the hell is this? Diana randomly comes out with this line and is real chipper about it. And then the mother is even more chipper. Huh? What?
-There’s barely anything to pick. All the fights were lackluster. When the Phantom fights the Shang Tsung guy, I think there were a couple good kicks in there…whatever.
-It’s the first second of the movie. The title, “For those who came in late” comes on the screen. What the hell does that mean? I know I didn’t come in late because I watched this from the beginning on itunes. What did I walk in late too? Was there a prequel to this? Well the dumb opening certainly sets the tone for the movie.
-Once again, it’s slim-pickens. The Phantom hangs on the back of a plane and his horse runs under it. He has to time the jump. I guess that was fine.
-One of the things that really angered me with this movie is that the action isn’t even exciting. There’s a chase in New York where the Phantom steals a police horse and a couple policemen chase him. It’s so boring. The horse just rides straight. There aren’t’ even any turns. And then the Phantom escapes by jumping on a wall at the zoo. You’ve got to be kidding me. That’s our big chase scene! Oy vey.
-So Drax has this nasty microscope with blades that pop out when you turn it. He has some random librarian take a look at something through the microscope and the blades go through his eyes. Then Drax gives a pretty sweet line: “I guess you won’t need these anymore” and crushes his glasses. Hahaha…what a dick.
Bad Ass Moment:
-So some random mob guy doesn’t want to be a part of Drax’s skull plan and out of no where, he launches this spear off the wall right at him. And it was a fair distance away. Drax in general saves this film from being completely terrible.