The Phantom

A clunky but charming fantasy-adventure based on the Lee Falk comic strip, which has been around for six decades, with Billy Zane as the title hero. The dogged efforts of producers Robert Evans and Alan Ladd Jr. to conjugate Indiana Jones and Batman yields a big-budget movie that resembles an old-fashioned movie serial more than other blockbusters, for better and worse. Zane's discomfort in his purple tights and mask reeks of 50s Z-budget shooting conditions, and I suspect kids will like this for precisely that reason—the rest of us will conclude we've seen it all before. Written by Jeffrey Boam and directed by Simon Wincer; with Kristy Swanson, Treat Williams (as the snarling villain), and Catherine Zeta Jones.

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