[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/phantom-zane-horse_3013.jpg]]

''The Phantom'' is a 1996 film based on the long-running [[ComicStrip/ThePhantom comic strip of the same name]]. It stars Creator/BillyZane as the Phantom, Kristy Swanson as his love interest Diana Palmer, Treat Williams as the villain Xander Drax, and Catherine Zeta Jones as DarkActionGirl Sala.

The film is set in the 1930s, when the comic strip debuted, and draws characters and plot points from the comic's first few story arcs. This also means that it shows the Phantom's home as being in Southeast Asia, when the comic strip had long since {{retcon}}ned it to Africa.

Even though some fans responded well to the film, and Creator/RogerEbert gave a favourable review, it bombed at the box office. It earned $17,323,326 in the United States market, the 93rd most successful film of its year. But that failed to even cover its budget. At least, it has since sold well on VHS and DVD.

!!The film provides examples of:

* AdaptationDyeJob: Diana has much lighter hair than in the comics, possibly to help distinguish her from the raven-haired Sala.
* AdaptationNameChange: Kabai Singh and the Singh Brotherhood become Kabai Sengh and the Sengh Brotherhood.
* BeamOWar: When Drax tries to destroy Phantom with a death ray from his completed skull set, he answers with a ray of his own [[spoiler:from his ring]].
* TheBermudaTriangle: The Devil's Vortex is a serial-numbers-filed-off version of the Bermuda Triangle, a region of ocean that has a reputation for ships disappearing in it; this turns out to be because the home base of the Sengh Brotherhood is in the middle of it, and they take strong measures against anybody who gets too close.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: What the Phantom mainly uses his two handguns for.
* BoardToDeath: Concluding with a really awesome spear-chucking.
* CaveBehindTheFalls: The home of the Phantom is in a valley that can only be entered through a tunnel hidden by a waterfall.
* ClarkKenting: The Phantom's body language hardly changes when he's being Kit Walker, and his voice not at all; despite this, nobody seems to realise that they're the same person even after encountering both of them in quick succession. (Well, Diana figures it out eventually, and before Kit makes up his mind to tell her; but seriously, how is it not immediately obvious?)
** Diana figuring out the Phantom's secret identity is foreshadowed in the scene at the newspaper office where Kit talks and poses exactly like the Phantom did just a few scenes before.
* ContinuityCameo: The film includes a number of passing references to continuity elements from the comics, including names on background signage and cameo characters (such as Corporal Weeks of the Jungle Patrol).
* CrystalSkull: Three of them, silver, gold and green opal.
* DeadPersonConversation: The Phantom has several conversations with his dead father, who acts as his SpiritAdvisor. At least one of the conversations includes the ghost telling him something he didn't already know, suggesting it's a real ghost and not just his imagination.
** In another Guran walks in on Kit claiming he heard voice''s''. Plural.
*** Al only hears the Phantom's side of the conversation in the cab, though...
* DemBones: Styles, one of the thieves, has the misfortune of being strangled to death by a skeleton that inexplicably comes to life.
* EyeScream: When Drax finds out that librarian Dr. Fleming has been ratting on him to Diana's uncle, he asks him to look into a binocular microscope. When Fleming turns the adjustment knobs, blades shoot out of the eyepieces and blind him.
* EffortlessAmazonianLift / OverTheShoulderCarry: A [[BoundAndGagged restrained]] Diana Palmer gets this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa4NJT8MuLI treatment]] from Sala when she is [[DistressedDamsel captured]].
* FauxAffablyEvil: Xander Drax has impeccable manners even when he's killing or maiming underlings in horrible ways, which really makes it worse.
* {{Flynning}}: The sword fight scenes at the end of the movie are (painfully) full of this.
* GoldTooth: Morgan, one of the thieves assisting Quill at the beginning, has one.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Quill has a scar on his cheek in the shape of the Phantom's skull ring, from where the previous Phantom punched him.
* GottaCatchThemAll: The villain is tracking down the three silver "Skulls of Touganda", which will grant him immense power. [[spoiler:There is a fourth skull, on the Phantom's RingOfPower.]]
* GroinAttack: One of Sala's favourite fighting moves.
** Diana also does it to a [[{{Mooks}} Mook]] on the ship.
* HighHeelFaceTurn: After growing angry with the way the pirates were treating them both, Sala abruptly switches gears and starts helping Diana on the grounds that "us girls gotta stick together."
* HoodHopping: The Phantom does this while pursuing Drax's car in New York.
* InMediasRes: The film begins and ends smack in the middle of the 21st Phantom's career. Backstory is provided by dialogue and the movie ends with the romantic pair going their separate ways again (but with Diana planning to return later). [[ButForMeItWasTuesday Just a regular week for The Phantom.]]
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Drax does this to Ray with an African spear when he "wants out."
* InTheBack: Quill stabbed the previous Phantom in the back, both literally and figuratively.
* ItsPersonal: Said word-for-word for Diane when she punches out Sala.
* JungleDrums: The Bangalla natives use message drums to summon the Phantom when trouble is brewing.
* LargeHam: Xander Drax.
* LeaveHimToMe: During the battle with the Sengh Brotherhood, their leader claims the right to be the one to kill the Phantom, and even stabs one of his own men who's about to beat him to it.
* TheMovie
* MovieSuperheroesWearBlack: ''Spectacularly'' averted!
** Another thing about the Phantom's costume in the movie is that it's even designed to "change color" depending on the lighting. It can shift from bright to dark purple, red, grey, or blue in a ShoutOut to how various publishers over the world change the color of his costume based of preference.
* MurderousThighs: A RareMaleExample. The Phantom does this to two {{Mooks}} in Drax's building.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Xander Drax.
-->'''Drax:''' It begins and ends with an X.
* NatureHero: The Phantom is really good with animals.
* NotListeningToMeAreYou: Diana talking to her mother.
-->'''Lily Palmer''': How are you anyway, sweetheart?\\
'''Diana Palmer''': I've contracted malaria, mother.\\
'''Lily Palmer''': That's nice.
* {{Novelization}}
* OhCrap: Charlie right before [[spoiler:getting blasted by the pirate cannon.]]
* OutsideRide: The Phantom does this on the villains' truck near the beginning, and later hitches a ride to the showdown on the landing pontoon of Sala's seaplane.
* APirate400YearsTooLate: The Sengh brotherhood.
* PirateGirl: Sala.
* PlummetPerspective: Used during the first crossing of the rope bridge.
* PragmaticAdaptation: Attempting to tie together three ''very'' different (albeit classic) storylines from the comics into a coherent whole and still trying to maintain the Kit Walker/Diana Palmer romance. The reason the film fails is because it collapses under its own ambition.
* RingOfPower: The Phantom's ring [[spoiler:which has the fourth Skull of Touganda.]]
* RopeBridge: Which inevitably kicks off an action sequence when it starts coming apart as it's being crossed.
* SchmuckBait: "Oh, uh, one more thing if you don't mind. I'd like your professional opinion on something under this microscope."
* ShoutOut: The Palmer family's bulter, Falkmoore, is named in honor of Lee Falk and Ray Moore, the writer and first artist of the comic strip.
* SkyPirates: Sala's crew.
* SpiritAdvisor: Kit's dad appears to him to goad him on his quest. A cabby driving the Phantom around is freaked out when Kit starts arguing with himself. He also doubles as TheNarrator.
* ThreateningShark: There are sharks circling around the wreck that Kabai Sengh uses as his throne.
* ThrownFromTheZeppelin: When Ray Zephro voices his dissatisfaction with Drax's plans and tries to leave the room, he gets a spear thrown on his back.
* TotallyRadical: Thankfully averted in the film itself, but played very straight with the tag line:
--->'''SLAM EVIL!'''
* TwoFistedTales: They did get ''that'' right at least.
* UnfinishedBusiness: The ghost of the previous Phantom is still hanging around because of this. He doesn't mind having been murdered so much -- it's an occupational hazard -- but he can't rest easy until he knows that the Phantom line has been secured for another generation.
* UpperClassTwit: Diana's unwanted admirer Jimmy Wells, whose idea of a business trip is coming into town to be measured for a new suit.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: One complaint about the film is that it assumes the audience already knows who The Phantom is and what he does. The introduction has a ''very'' condensed version of the origin story (taken almost directly from the first panel of many of the comics) but other than that it pretty much starts in the middle of the 21st Phantom's career with no backstory.
* YouKilledMyFather: Quill is the man who killed the previous Phantom. He spends much of the movie disturbed by the discovery that the man he killed is apparently still in business. Kit explains the truth to him at the onset of their inevitable final duel.
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