Phantom, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

Possibly the world's oldest (1936) and most popular comic book character, The Phantom, comes to the big screen in this fast moving, violent action-adventure. Residing in a remote jungle in Asia, the Phantom (Billy Zane) battles the evil Sengh Brotherhood and its modern day counterpart, Xander Drax (Treat Williams), a power hungry businessman in New York City in the 1930's. Both want to control three mysterious skulls which together have enormous supernatural power. Dressed in his purple costume and black mask, and riding on a white horse, the Phantom fights against the Brotherhood in the jungle, then travels to New York City under the name of Kit Walker to take on Drax and his henchmen. There he reunites with his long lost love, Diana Palmer (Kristy Swanson), and their romance begins to blossom again. The Phantom's adventures include wild airplane rides, chases and stunts on horseback, and battles in a mysterious underground watery cave. THE PHANTOM is meant to be old-fashioned fun and adventure, and probably will please most of its viewers.

Unfortunately, though, its old-fashioned fun and adventure have been modernized with excessively severe and frequent violence. Its many hand and gun fights and striking frequently become unnecessarily vicious. And scenes where a spear is hurled into a man's back, a man is shot with a cannon and men are kicked in their genitals are gratuitous. Further, the language has been modernized with 11 mild and moderately crude words and three obscenities, including two s-words. However, it's old-fashioned enough to avoid any sexual content, although some women are shown in their underwear. And, to its credit, the Phantom does triumph over evil. Oddly, the Phantom occasionally engages in the occult when he communicates with his deceased father for assistance. Since the principal audience for the film will probably be young persons, the excessive violence and rough language are particularly unfortunate.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Paramount Pictures Corp., 5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 10, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Few (3) times (s-word 2, other 1)

Profanity: None

Violence: Almost continuous - Moderate and Severe (Many hand and gun fights, some vicious; man choked to death, man slammed against tree, intense striking of men and women, kicking in genitals, spear thrown in man's back, windows shattered and property blown up, man shot with cannon, man killed by sharks, bodies explode)

Sex: None

Nudity: None; Near nudity - few times (women in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Man communicates with dead father; skulls have evil powers

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: 6 years of age and older

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