The Phantom (1996)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 5/28/00
Cast: Billy Zane, Kristy Swanson, Treat Williams, Catherine Zeta-Jones, James Remar, Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa

An unassuming and thoroughly enjoyable action/adventure romp based on the classic comic book character known as "The Phantom." A power-mad villain named Xander Drax (Treat Williams) is searching the globe for three mystical relics that will grant him supernatural power. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't count on The Phantom (Billy Zane) getting involved. Kristy Swanson serves as Zane's headstrong love interest, and there is the extra added bonus of devastatingly beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones as a sexy villainess. Yowzah! The film is colorful and delightfully fun in a "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" (1981) kind of way. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, and the action scenes are quite thrilling. The stuntwork and fight choreography are also surprisingly good, making me feel guilty for not bothering to see this film when it originally came out. The film only suffers from two problems - Billy Zane and Treat Williams. Billy Zane does a fine job with the role of The Phantom, and has the perfect physique and physical grace for the part, but his face just doesn't seem to fit. Is he too pretty or just too goofy looking? I don't know, but it's only a minor complaint. Treat Williams on the other hand only succeeds at being an annoying and unconvincing villain, which is a shame. But neither of these issues are enough to spoil the fun.