LEEE777 Reviews: Syfy's The Phantom TV Movie

Syfy's The Phantom is here, that premiered last night in the States, and as no one seems to be reviewing it, I thought I'd step up. Small Spoilers enclosed...

Reviews Opinion
Ryan Carnes stars as Kit Walker; The Phantom and the new story of this version of The Phantom sees law student Kit learning that he was adopted, and that he is actually the son of the 21st Phantom and Diana Palmer Walker. Kit joins the Phantom team in the jungles of Bengalla, and is trained in martial arts and combat skills, emerging as the next Phantom to battle the Singh Brotherhood and save the only man who can bring peace to the Middle East. The updated 22nd Phantom wears a modified costume that is impervous to bullets, blades and even falls, it also doubles his strength and can make him move more faster than normal. Okay where to start, I've always liked The Phantom since i can remember, first the comics, but also the two cartoon series called Defenders of the Earth & Phantom 2040, good but not great as I've never really been into those future set shows, well apart from the now classic Batman Beyond animated show which just worked so perfectly! I think really that the Billy Zane movie called also The Phantom blew me away the most, they just brought the character from the printed page to the big screen so well, just like Hollywood did with The Rocketeer too! I wasn't expecting that much from this TV movie, which is basically a four-hour mini-series which airs back-to-back tonight at 7pm Syfy by the way. Well anyways, wasn't expecting much and it didn't disappoint but it wasn't as bad as everyone thinks it is, lets just say if you have a few hours spare just sit down and give it a watch. When the first pictures and trailer came out, many people were a bit hesitant, well hated it. Just basically didn't like the costume, which didn't look very good or for that matter very flattering, i do agree. I still think it looks a poor mans Phantom and its a bit Extreme Sports slash Robocop slash Power Ranger. I mean why change what isn't broke for that? If it was to improve the costume they totally failed, it just wasn't and isn't The Phantom. Every generation's first born son is Kit Walker funny enough, so thats why the same name and they take on the mantle of The Phantom, who's "The Ghost Who Walks." Anyway, the good news is Ryan Carnes is quite a good actor and you do enjoy him in the role, a tad bit small to play the superhero when he's in costume, but you get over that. At the start he doesn't know he's Kit Walker as he was given the name Chris Moore, and can't remember much of his childhood because of an accident that took his birth mother. I wont go into detail as don't want to spoil it all for those who are going to watch this Syfy event. Theres some great scenes of him jumping about on roof tops and stuff with his longtime friend, as the character is into the sport of parkour, which is perfect for when he dons the purple suit for fighting crime, yeah must be in the Walker genes.
The villains are a bit over the top and comic bookie, but then again it is based on a comic book. Well the acting isn't that bad from anyone in the whole cast and this does surpass most Syfy movies I've recently seen, just watch the Phantom Racer and you'll know what I mean. Talking other characters, of course like nearly always theres a love interest and thats Renny Davidson, played by actress Cameron Goodman. Who's the daughter of a police sergeant by the way and plays a medic. Kit Walkers (though still Chris Moore at the time) life turns upside down when he meets a mentor who worked with his father Abel Vandermaark, played by Jean Marchand. Lets just say things don't go to well for Chris/Kits parents and after that Vandermaark takes him to Bengalia, where he meets the loyal Guran and a whole secret team that trains him to be the best for the next Phantom, and of course with that darn extreme sports protective Phantom suit, as lets just say he wasn't too impressed with the original costume when they showed it to him, which is the main reason we get the new one, oh and maybe for the ratings lol, seriously Syfy? The story is a little long winded in some parts, but you have to remember this was originally shown in Canada as a two-part mini series and it does have that action packed from start to finish feel to it. I do have issues with the skull cave entrance in Bengalia, it just looked like a small side entrance than the epic one we saw in the Zane movie. Anyway lets just say The Phantom rights the wrongs (as always) and the good thing is Syfy doesn't numb down the violence or anything, keeps it real and not just comic bookie like in certain big budget movies previously released. I can see this going to a series as its much more enjoyable than some long running series out there right now. Though saying that and if it does get the ratings and goes series, it has to get the original costume back because basically you cringe every time you see this new one on screen. The movie did do its job and entertain as a superhero TV movie but in some parts it fails to have the feel of The Phantom, mainly its down to the stupid rebooted suped-up suit, but like I said they can work around that. Just give it a chance, leave your brain for a while and it might surprise you, you might enjoy it.
LEEE777 - I give this movie/mini series a two skulls rings out of five. Like i said, its mainly down to the stupid suit, change that and we might have a winner if it ever does makes series of course, fingers crossed!


Concept Art: Billy Zane's THE PHANTOM (1996)

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