Phantom of the Megaplex Review

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

I would much prefer this film’s opening than the one I’m reviewing


The next film on DCOM month was released in 2000 it’s a film that as the title implies is loosely and I mean LOOSELY based on the classic novel Phantom of the Opera written by Gaston Leroux or was it Gaston Lefou?

Anyway the film was released as part of the Disney Channel for Halloween that year and was marketed as a fun mystery of the Phantom that haunts this movie theatre. I remember enjoying the film okay, but the thing is this is supposed to be Disney’s adaptation of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!!!!!!!!! When Disney’s adapting something like Phantom of the Opera I expect a lot more than this. While nowhere near terrible this adaptation even as extremely loose as this doesn’t live up to the source material or other adaptations in any shape, form and degree.


The story of this film is about 17 year old Pete Riley who is the assistant manager at the local movie theatre and he is very dedicated to his job.  The Senior Manager of the theatre Shawn MacGibbon has made arrangements to have the premiere of a big budget film that was filmed in the area to be at the theatre. The staff of the theatre are under immense pressure to make sure everything goes without a hitch. Pete’s siblings made arrangements to see a movie and be brought home before the premiere while their mom and her boyfriend go out. Unfortunately for Pete things start to go wrong that range from concessions to the screens. After Pete learns that this is sabotage and can’t solve the mystery on his own he reluctantly accepts the help of his movie savvy siblings to solve the mystery.


Oh boy! While this plot is NOT insulting like the Zenon sequels it has quite a few holes such as how can the Phantom move around and steal fairly big sized objects by himself during primetime hours in the evening of the theatre’s business without being seen? How can the Phantom know everything about the theatre and I’m talking about in terms of engineering in how escalators work and projections work without anyone seeing him or if he did it beforehand without anyone noticing? These holes really hurt the film and make you completely disbelieve the impact that the Phantom is supposed to have. I mean come on the Phantom story is this grand epic love story whether it’s the novel, Lon Chaney silent movie, or the beloved musical.  I know Disney is no stranger to altering elements of the source material, but the changes were never so damaging that the result was the lowest common denominator. Here that is not the case. While the premise of the film has merit and it is a decent mystery the result feels lackluster and the execution is spotty.




I’m going to compartmentalize the characters this time just because there’s not much to say. There are only two characters that I like in this film and those characters are the hero and villain Pete and Shawn (he’s the Phantom. I know I spoiled it). Pete being the main character is well developed and has a personality as a no nonsense workaholic  and respects hard work as well as his job. These qualities draw out the movie lover in him when the Phantom shows up and together with his siblings he saves the day. Shawn like the Phantom of the source material is sympathetic and you know why he did it. While Shawn is nowhere near as sympathetic as the source material Phantom it’s decent enough.


The characters I can’t stand are the supporting characters. I find the siblings incredibly annoying. Yeah they help Pete, but that doesn’t excuse them. They have no real character other than knowing everything about movies. Every time they open their mouths it’s a movie reference. I love movies too and I reference them all the time, but these kids are crazy to the point where I doubt their concepts and perceptions of reality. This is coming from a guy who analyzes the simple and complex themes of Disney films and applies them practically to real life as an adult!! Also this movie completely wastes the talent of a show business legend: Mickey Rooney as Movie Mason. Mason is a classy and overall decent character at first, but he is such an idealist when it comes to movies and I mean that in an unhealthy way! Shawn out of genuine kindness as well as desperate need of hired help lets Mason be a ticket taker to get the long line going and a little while later Mason starts criticizing two moviegoers on the show they bought tickets for and refuses to take their tickets as well as going on about the better classier  films in the theatre!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone rightfully so gets mad and it escalates to the point where Shawn kicks him out of the theatre and the film has the nerve to make it as if we’re supposed to feel that a crime has been committed against Mason!!!!!!!!! Hello he was disrespectful to paying customers and gave input when it was out of line and unprofessional and most of all not needed!! Mason gives the false statement that “movies aren’t about commerce” when in reality it’s always about commerce!!!!!!!!! It’s called Show BUSINESS for a reason!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes entertainment always has ideological and artistic value that’s really important, but that doesn’t give Mason the right to force his ideas on other people and be disrespectful to patrons!!!!!!! If he loves the artistic and ideological qualities of movies then he should be a critic NOT WORK AT A THEATRE WHICH IS TECHNICALLY A BUSINESS THAT PROVIDES ENTERTAINMENT TO PEOPLE AND BEING A BUSINESS IS DRIVEN BY MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The coworkers are definitely quirky, but there’s no real character behind it and these are just stereotypes whose behavior and responses seem very forced.


I need something to take care of this residual rage left over from the Zenon sequels. I know!

all music and lyrics from this film are written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and owned by ALW and Warner Bros.




This area is okay although I think that the laugh of the Phantom is just ridiculous because it’s like how Bane’s voice was edited in DKR where it sounded like it was on a different audio like narration not only that, but it’s a canned stereotypical laugh that’s probably been used a hundred times in a kids’ Halloween commercial. But there is one thing I thought was very clever whether it was intentional or not and it was a nice nod to the source material. The Phantom’s preferred method of disposing of people in this film is to surprise people from behind and tie them up which is very similar to how the Phantom of the source material kills people by strangulation.




While this film is certainly not good it’s not bad or terrible. It’s an average don’t think too much movie. Still if you want a good Phantom movie watch the other adaptations! Like this one!

Verdict: 3 mild sized fans that somehow made an extremely powerful whirlwind and actually blew people back out of 5

Join me next time where I take a look at the film that gave us the bull crap theme that would lead us to the pinnacle of the DCOM with Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook Off!

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