For those who came in late… The Phantom just might be the most important superhero ever created. The Phantom debuted in a 1936 comic strip. He was the first superhero to wear spandex, a mask with white eyes, a power ring, to have a secret hideout (the Skull Cave), and the first superhero with a mantle. Needless to say superheroes wouldn’t be who they were today without The Phantom.
Unfortunately the character faded into obscurity until (you guessed it) the 90’s. Billy Zane plays The Phantom in the only heroic role I’ve ever seen him in. In the 16th century, after a run-in with pirates, a boy washed up on an African island called Bengalia. He becomes their first of 21 masked avengers known as The Phantom. While I was interested enough to read a comic beforehand, The Phantom just doesn’t work in the 90’s.
It’s cool that he presides over a jungle like Tarzan, has a pet wolf, and rides a white stallion, but the biggest problem is his costume. Which is purple! It’s fine for a comic, but ridiculous in a movie. The movie is also unfocused, has some hammy acting, and feels too familiar. There’s also barely any Africans in it. Billy Zane is just not enough to save the movie. I still believe The Phantom could work, but this movie is no excuse.