The Phantom (1996)

Director : Simon Wincer

It all started with pirates taking over a ship off the coast of Africa, and a young boy's father getting killed. He made it to the Bengalla island shore and was taken in by a tribe, and decided to devote his life fighting the pirates, and greesd and cruelty.When he became a man he grew to be the Phantom : The Ghost Who Walks. Flash forward to the 1930's and we now have the 21st successor to hold that title.

Some men come to the island looking for a magic skull. They find one inside of a cave, but a skeleton kills one of the men. The drums start beating and the Phantom comes riding on a white horse, with his wolf Devil, and shooting a pistol. One of the men escapes with the skull. The Phantom reads up and finds out there are three skulls; one made of jade, one of silver and one of gold. When put together they create a powerful force. The evil Singh Brotherhood., descended from the pirates, has gotten hold of at least one, and the Phantom must stop them before they get them all.

Back in New York Xander Drax is up to no good. Socialite Diane Palmer gets hijacked off of a ship. The Phantom hears about what is going on, and boards a docked ship. Diane is being held by the evil Sala. The Phantom gets Diane and fights his way off the ship. The Phantom and Diane fly a plane while his horse and Devil follow below. He brings Diane back to the Skull Cave and gives her a string of blacl pearls.

Back in New York the brutal and ruthless Xander Drax gets the skull. Kit Walker (The Phantom) soon follows behind. WE then find out that Diane is Kit's old college sweetheart, and they find out that a second skull is at a museum in New York. They go and get it but Xander is right behind and he takes it. he now has two skulls, which together, should point to the third. But can the Phantom stop eveil from taking over the world and win the girl too?

Roger Ebert gave this movie 3 1/2 stars saying "``The Phantom'' is one of the best-looking movies in any genre I have ever seen. I suppose people don't go to the movies just to drink inthe production design, but here is a movie that would reward a visit by someone who loves art but is indifferent to adventure movies and comic-book superheroes. It uses the visual materials of 1930s pulp fiction, adds a touch of film noir, and paints everything in a paletteof reds, browns, golden yellows, creams, greens, blacks--and purples, of course." Link to Full Review

Roger liked this movie much more than I did. The movie does have a great look and feel, much like the Indiana Jones movies. The scenes of 1930's New York were just great. But the story and acting were just OK and the Phantom as a superhero is just fair. He really doesn't have any powers, and he mostly relies on a gun. This was a movie that tried to blend comedy and drama, and didn't end up doing either very well.