It is good to see that despite a blip with Tigerland, Joel Schumacher has returned to stake his claim as the worst director in Hollywood. Whilst I did not expect The Phantom Of The Opera to be any good, I did not in my wildest dreams expect it to be as bad as it was. Cards on the table, I do not care for the stage musical, and have a bit of an aversion to sung through musicals. I guess I like show-tunes and dancing, and the problem with sung through scores is they never stop for you to gather your breath. They never seem to reach the pinnacle of quality either. Phantom is two and a half hours of basically four songs, three of which are ballads, repeated. So I probably was not going to like it. But Schumacher has taken a leap of faith with his direction, matching the melodramatic script with overblown visuals. This is a film played at such a high level it appears that Simon Callow is under-acting.

Ten minutes into the showing four kids stormed the cinema, and proceeded to lark about. It was the kind of thing that would usually annoy me. One of them at least wanted to see the film, but the rest took the piss at the heaving bosoms, and played with their mobiles. Thank Christ, they were blessed relief, and well worth having around for the big reveal of the Phantom’s scarred face. Which, as pointed out by one of the kids, made him almost identical to Gordon Ramsey. But not as good a cook.