Lloyd Webber's 'Phantom' horrifies the US film critics

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The Independent US

It has taken Andrew Lloyd Webber 16 years to bring his stage musical hit Phantom Of The Opera to the screen, but according to American critics, he need not have bothered.

It has taken Andrew Lloyd Webber 16 years to bring his stage musical hit Phantom Of The Opera to the screen, but according to American critics, he need not have bothered.

The £50m extravaganza, financed mainly by Lloyd Webber, stars the Scottish actor Gerard Butler in the title role and has attracted indifferent to scathing reviews. The New York Post headlined its review "Crashing Chandelier, Crashing Bore" and its critic thought the film "campy, overdecorated, deracinated and interminable". Its "dirgelike anthems are repeated endlessly until they drill into your skull like a root canal," he added.

Butler, described as "an obscure Scottish actor best known for the second Lara Croft bomb" is "not much of a singer or an actor" while Minnie Driver as the diva Carlotta is "annoying". The reviewer considered the film's only redeeming feature to be the opera-trained actress Emmy Rossum.

The Los Angeles Times said Phantom had been "filmed, cast and art-directed to the point of collapse" and tended "to drift into a semi-conscious fog ... as through purposefully trying to lose us in all the murkiness and rococo design".

Daily Variety, the trade newspaper of the film industry, was more circumspect, confining itself to the critical comment: "Unlike Chicago, the film lacks the stars and Broadway pizzazz needed to attract a significant new audience."

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