The Phantom of the Opera

Bomb Rating: 

As I've been playing a lot of "Halo 2" lately, I actually had this daydream while Christine and Raoul were holding each other that I shot them both in the head with my rocket launcher. Double kill!

I had never been exposed to this Andrew Lloyd Webber crap before, but oh my God, was it boring. Who in the hell goes to watch this stuff? If my audience was any indication, it's 80-year-old women who are hard-of-hearing. I just about fell asleep during the first 90 minutes of the movie. As I've been playing a lot of "Halo 2" lately, I actually had this daydream while Christine (Emmy Rossum) and Raoul (Patrick Wilson) were holding each other that I shot them both in the head with my rocket launcher. Double kill!

Is it just me or do the characters in this thing sing the same damn song like 50 times in a row? The only thing I remember from the whole thing was the Phantom's theme music. Other than that, it was like being stuck in an elevator listening to the MUZAK versions of Michael Jackson's greatest hits. The music just sucks.

For what it's worth, the story takes place in Paris around 1870 in an opera house. Though the place has just been bought, the Phantom (Gerard Butler) lords over the theater, making casting decisions and whatnot from his mythical place in the rafters. He's instrumental in replacing Carlotta (Minnie Driver) with Christine. Unfortunately, Christine falls for Raoul and the Phantom begins to go mad, threatening to destroy both of them and the theater.

There are those musicals where the characters speak their lines like normal people part of the time and then spontaneously break out into song. Then there are the musicals where not only do they sing songs and perform musical numbers, but they sing the dialogue too. This is one of the latter and it's just incredibly annoying. After the first fifteen minutes, I felt like I was surrounded by singing messengers who wouldn't go away. Reasonable people need breathers from that sort of shit and there's just never any rest from the incessant singing here.

The film is directed by Joel Schumacher, who's responsible for "Batman and Robin" and is a director who is basically incapable of making anything other than pedestrian crap. That he's able to adapt Weber's stuff says everything about them both.

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haunting

Even-More-Critical-Than-Mr.-C.'s picture

Sorry Mr. C. You are all wrong on this one. My first reaction to the music was like yours---it took my kids arguing with me for days for me to finally appreciate that there are about half a dozen hauntingly enchanting tunes in this musical. They are woven together masterfully which is why I (and you) got confused.
The gal is just adorable. The story is timeless. You've got to see it a few times to unpeel the layers. I'm moved every time. Mr. Cranky I think that like me you identify with the Phantom, it just hurts too much for you to admit it.

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