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Joel Schumacher may not be a visual stylist on the level of Orson Welles, Jean Cocteau, or F.W. Murnau, but he certainly knows the right stuff to steal from those guys. The Lady From Shanghai’s hall of mirrors, Beauty and the Beast’s human-arm sconces, and Nosferatu’s shrouded coachman all make appearances in Schumacher’s overheated cinematic version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber megamusical The Phantom of the Opera, alongside visual cribs from still-living auteurs Baz Luhrmann and David Lynch. But who can blame the man for, um, borrowing, when the musical’s very score is a virtual musical Bartlett’s? Aside from the sporadically clever operatic pastiches, there’s plenty of uncomfortably familiar musical material peppered throughout—most notoriously, an entire melody lifted from Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West. And even Lloyd Webber’s own inventions begin to sound secondhand when he insists on endlessly reprising one treacly tune after another until they stick in your brain like rock-candy spikes. Of course, originality and understatement aren’t prerequisites for a good time at the movies, and there’s plenty of entertainment both visual and aural on offer here. Art-directed and CGI’d to within an inch of its 19th-century life, Phantom possesses an undeniable, if sometimes cheesy, sweep, and it moves like a mofo. (As two installments in the Batman franchise have proved, Schumacher can be an efficient storyteller.) And if this big-screen retread retains most of the unfortunate features of the Broadway original—the creaky melodramatics, the exposition-heavy lyrics by Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe, the way traditional operatic singing is consistently lampooned while wispy pop crooning is sighed over—Lloyd Webber does know how to make a phrase soar. Wide-eyed, dewy Emmy Rossum is sure to make pulses race as haunted Parisian soprano Christine Daaé, as will hunky Gerard Butler as the eponymous mad genius who would possess Christine’s soul. Butler is improbably cute and buff, though, for a guy who’s grown up in a swampy basement, and his half-masked disfigurement looks too easily correctable with outpatient surgery. In this case, perhaps a little more borrowing—say, of Lon Chaney’s peerlessly horrific face in the classic 1925 film—would have been in order. —Joe Banno