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
too little too late
Member Name: adambrookes
Date: 18/09/02, updated on 18/09/02 (24 review reads)
Advantages: good dvd commentaty
Disadvantages: poor film
Yes, he's back ... and he's still hungry. Hannibal is set 10 years after The Silence of the Lambs, as Dr Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins, reprising his Oscar-winning role) is living the good life in Italy, studying art and sipping espresso. FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore, replacing Jodie Foster), on the other hand, hasn't had it so good--an outsider from the start, she's now a quiet, moody loner who doesn't play bureaucratic games and suffers for it. A botched drug raid results in her demotion--and a request from Lecter's only living victim, Mason Verger (Gary Oldman, uncredited), for a little Q and A. Little does Clarice realise that the hideously deformed Verger--who, upon suggestion from Dr Lecter, peeled off his own face--is using her as bait to lure Dr Lecter out of hiding, quite certain he'll capture the good doctor.
Taking the basic plot contraptions from Thomas Harris's baroque novel, Hannibal is so stylistically different from its predecessor that it forces you to take it on its own terms. Director Ridley Scott gives the film a sleek, almost European look that lets you know that, unlike the first film (which was about the quintessentially American Clarice), this movie is all Hannibal. Does it work? Yes--but only up to a point. Scott adeptly sets up an atmosphere of foreboding, but it's all a build-up to the anticlimax, as Verger's plot for abducting Hannibal (and feeding him to man-eating wild boars) doesn't really deliver the requisite visceral thrills, and the much-ballyhooed climatic dinner sequence between Clarice, Dr Lecter and a third, unlucky guest wobbles between parody and horror. Hopkins and Moore are both first-rate, but the film contrives to keep them as far apart as possible, when what made Silence of the Lambs so amazing was their interaction. When they do connect it's quite thrilling but it's unfortunately too little too late.