Newest Review: ... characters he comes across. Jodie Foster couldn't return as Starling, as she had just become a mother. So the role of Starling was r... more
Nice plate of brains, anyone?
Member Name: eatingpinkzebras
Date: 01/04/09, updated on 01/04/09 (147 review reads)
Advantages: Hopkins is excellent
Disadvantages: Too gory, not tense enough, badly directed in parts
I have recently watched Red Dragon and re-watched Silence of the Lambs, so I thought I would finish off the trilogy by watching Hannibal too. Like the other films, this is also based on a novel by Thomas Harris.
Hannibal takes place ten years after Silence of the Lambs. Dr Hannibal Lecter is still on the loose and is living in Italy, whilst Clarice Starling is still working for the FBI back in America. When a drug raid that Clarice is in charge of goes badly wrong, she is vilified by the media and by her boss. Her unfortunate situation prompts Lecter to get back in touch via letter and this, along with the promptings of one of Lecter's oldest victims, Mason Verger, who is rich and powerful enough to have some hold over the FBI, makes Clarice return to Lecter's case. But Verger wants Lecter found and caught for his own purposes of exacting revenge. Who will get to Lecter first?
Anthony Hopkins returns to his role as Lecter in this film, but the same cannot be said for Jodie Foster, who is replaced by Julianne Moore in the role of Clarice. Moore does a good job of imitating the accent and is a realistic successor and a decent actress, but she doesn't quite have the same likeability or intense connection with Hopkins that Foster did. An unrecognisable Gary Oldman puts in a very creepy and disturbing performance as the hideously deformed Mason Verger, and Ray Liotta plays Clarice's irritating boss Paul quite well, though his character is really annoying and it is difficult to find any empathy for him. A more sympathetic character would have worked better in his place.
The film is quite good and the pace was reasonable, keeping my attention all the way through. However some scenes don't have the impact that they should have. The showdown between Verger and Lecter is very quick and not at all tense or worrying, and the scenes in Paul's house are more funny than scary. Director Ridley Scott seems to try to make up for the lack of well directed tense scenes by pouring on the gore much more liberally than the previous two films and there are definitely some gross moments. The one featuring intestines springs unpleasantly to mind.
It's also a shame that there's not more on screen interaction between Clarice and Lecter. Their relationship was central to Silence of the Lambs but they only meet towards the end of this film which is a missed opportunity really.
This isn't a bad film but it's probably the weakest of the three. You can buy the DVD for £3.48 from Amazon.co.uk.
Summary: Not bad but I don't think I'd watch it again