The past few years have seen the return of the musical to the movie theater. First there was Moulin Rouge, then Chicago. And just for fun, let's include South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. This is all in addition to the Disney animated movies which contain song numbers. I've liked this return to the silver screen, the overly dramatic musical stylings combined with modern production values create a wonderful new experience for the current crop of moviegoers. Now we get an adaptation from the ever popular Phantom of the Opera. The trailers looked phenomenal, gorgeous production, and potentially good music. It is now spreading to the theaters, and we can see if it stands up to Broadway.
I did get to see the show on Broadway a number of years ago and loved it. From the power of the Phantom's theme, to the stage, to the falling of the chandelier, an incredible show. The film on the other hand is a very mixed bag, one that I am very affectionate towards, but not all that it could have been. I know I shouldn't be coming the two, being very different mediums it is a bit unfair to look at both on the same level, but when adapting a work to the screen, needs to be adapted, not merely transferred.
First off, I am sure most of you reading this are at least somewhat familiar with the tale of the Phantom, so I am going to forego an formal description of the plot, and just get into what worked and what didn't for me.
The absolute best thing about this film is the look, it is incredible. The attention to detail is great, all of the design inside the theater, to the catacombs, even out to the snow covered cemetery. If there is one thing that Joel Schumacher is good at, it's amping up the spectacle. There is always something to look at, keeping the eye busy. That is probably the single thing that makes this truly worthy of seeing.