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The Phantom Reviews

If the biggest problem with costumed superheroes is those silly costumes, the venerable comic-book crimefighter known as the Phantom (Billy Zane) has a bigger problem than most: His getup is a skintight purple unitard accessorized with a Lone Ranger mask and a pair of six-shooters. Honey, don't even go there. Essentially, this is RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK without the narrative savvy and self-referential cleverness. Sworn to battle piracy, greed and cruelty, the Phantom settles for charming the jodhpurs off lady adventurer Diana Palmer (Kristy Swanson) while trying to stop evil industrialist Xander Drax (Treat Williams) from acquiring the fabled Skulls of Touganda. The movie is set in 1938, the better to revel in expensive vintage gewgaws, and period stereotypes abound -- the slinky femme fatale (Catherine Zeta Jones) may be fetchingly campy, but nefarious pirate lord Kabai Sengh (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) summons up a racist cultural past that just doesn't play well in 1996.