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Nobby's Super Website of Fun Film Review: The Phantom
Last update: 23rd September 2000

The purple-clad "Ghost Who Walks" took to the big screen in this 1996 film which, to be honest, plays like the pilot for a low-budget action series along the lines of The Incredible Hulk.

Having said that, it's not all bad. The special effects are surprisingly good - I couldn't see any matte lines in the scene where the Phantom and a child are hanging on to a rope on a collapsing bridge and the sculls have pretty good effects, too. Unfortunately, the sculls are badly made and look plastic. That's about the level of quality all the props have, though - they're rather bad. Even the scull cave is bad. I'm sure not making it bright white would have helped somewhat.

The fight scenes are pretty good, too. Not X-Men quality, but that's just as well. As pointed out in the film, the Phantom's not a superhero - he's just a man in a silly costume and therefore doesn't have the ability to kick someone across the room like the X-Men do. Instead we're treated to some decent, realistic fighting and some rather good comedy moments, too. The main bad guy reminds me of the mayor from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which came later. He's definitely a bad guy but he's also got human qualities: after spearing someone through the back he picks at the hole in the wall the spear head made.

It's little things like that which make the film enjoyable, but it's still more akin to a TV series than a film.

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