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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Even though the Phantom's family has been fighting evil since the 16th century, evil is still going strong. People who dedicate themselves to righting wrongs should be appreciated.
Positive Role Models
The Phantom is a noble, good-natured fighter of piracy, greed, cruelty, and bad guys, a job passed to him by his father in a long legacy. A corrupt businessman stops at nothing to find ancient sources of ultimate power.
Violence & Scariness
Expect fighting, swordplay, shoot-outs, and lots of chases. Bad guys maneuver a truck across a shaky rope bridge that breaks. The Phantom clings for life to rope and rescues a boy. The truck plummets through the canyon and lands in an explosive fireball. A skeleton strangles a man. Knives come out of a microscope and stab a man. There's lots of talk of the jungle being protected by a ghost, but it's actually the Phantom and all his descendants over many centuries. The Phantom has a pet wolf who growls threateningly at bad guys. A man is killed by a spear. Bloody water is seen after a man is attacked by a shark. A bad guy explodes when magical power is directed at him.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Girls are in a locker room in underwear and towels. Jungle warriors are shirtless. A man and woman kiss.
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"S--t," "hell," "damn."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink and smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Phantom is a 1996 superhero adventure tale that's packed with explosions, swords, guns, and cannon fights, a truck falling off a bridge, death by shark (with bloody water shown), chase scenes, and other stock conventions of the genre. Some women are seen in their underwear, and a man and woman kiss. Expect to hear "s--t," "hell," and "damn." Adults drink and smoke cigarettes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It feels like a copycat of Superman, Indiana Jones, and other period comic book adventures, but nevertheless fans of that genre may enjoy this retread of well-worn material. Suspension of disbelief plays a big role in such enjoyment, and the Phantom's origin story may stretch reality too much even for them. (It's hard to believe that, dating to the 16th century, generations of Phantom descendants have run around the muggy jungle in purple spandex and a Lone Ranger mask.) Billy Zane plays the Phantom with a sunny zest that's endearing. The stunts and special effects are fun, as when the Phantom wordlessly communicates to his galloping steed to catch him as he jumps off a low-flying plane. It should be noted that an original co-writer of the movie has reported that the script was written as a spoof, and when the film was produced without him, it was played as a straight action-adventure drama. This may explain the movie's uneven texture.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate