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
Date: 03/02/02, updated on 05/02/02 (4 review reads)
Advantages: gory, twisted scenes
This is a great film and isn't one for the weak hearted. It is a great film to carry on from the silence of the lambs and should be viewed if possible.
It's been ten years since Dr. Hannibal Lecter terrorized audiences from behind the glass in The Silence of the Lambs--now the cannibalistic madman with the super-intellect is out of his cage and living the quiet life in Italy. Is Hannibal, the highly anticipated follow-up to the now classic 1991 psychological thriller, as good as its predecessor? Probably not. But in the absence of unrealistically high expectations, Hannibal manages to be an entertaining movie in its own right.
It is perhaps more fitting to call Hannibal the epilogue to The Silence of the Lambs rather than the sequel. The two movies are cast in significantly different molds, with the former being less about mindgames and more about consequences. We find out what happened to Hannibal Lecter after he escaped, and we find out that Clarice Starling's career has taken a dismal turn since then.
This epilogue approach is a mixed bag. On the plus side, we get to see Hannibal integrate into society. He's living in Italy, sipping wine, taking in the occasional play, and lecturing audiences on history under an assumed name. This gives the movie a great wolf-in-sheep's-clothing tension, as you are constantly wondering when and if this devious psychopath will snap and start eating people's faces again. On the minus side, however, this makes the movie less menacing, a bit slower, and not as engaging. In true afterward form, this story takes place after the true climax: Lecter's mindgames with Starling and his subsequent escape.
The true action of Hannibal is set into motion when two separate forces attempt to track him down: an Italian police officer named Pazzi and rich businessman Mason Verger. Pazzi wants to turn Hannibal in to the FBI and collect the $3 million reward. Meanwhile, Verger wants simp
le revenge, as a past experience with Hannibal left his face horribly disfigured--he has since obsessed over the infamous murderer and dreams of feeding him to man-eating hogs.
This story has the unfortunate effect of making Hannibal the victim. The hunter becomes the prey, and in the process, Hannibal is humanized into a character we have concern for. That's not a good thing for someone who is supposed to be the villain. What's worse, he actually becomes downright heroic at one point when he rescues Clarice in a deadly situation. Also knocking the movie's atmosphere off-kilter is Ray Liotta's character. As a sleazy spokesperson for the Justice Department, he adds too much humor to the "dinner scene," a moment that should be exclusively twisted and repulsive.
thanks for reading my review and the film should be most definatly viewed if possible