Hannibal Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 1, 2010
It is a pity that the psychological richness of the previous film gives place to a bloated and not really engaging cat-and-mouse game that lacks that same chemistry between the two characters and has a rather frustrating ending, being only worth it because of Lecter.
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2012
Hannibal Lecter: On a similar note I must confess to you, I'm giving very serious thought... to eating your wife.

"Break The Silence"

This initially sounds like an amazing movie. Hannibal is another Hannibal Lector film with Ridley Scott at the helm, Hopkins as Hannibal, and Julianne Moore as Clarice. Gary Oldman even appears, more or less, as the only surviving victim of Lector's. It's not to say that I didn't get a fair amount of enjoyment from Scott's Hannibal, but I was unsatisfied nonetheless. I didn't necessarily expect a masterpiece, but I did expect a movie better than this one.

Hannibal seemed incredibly goofy at times, while staying with the atmospheric seriousness of The Silence of the Lambs for the most part. Hans Zimmer delivers a great little score to bring out the tension that a movie with Lector in it deserves. That's one reason why I have a hard time totally dismissing this film. There was a relative amount of tension all the way through. It wasn't to the degree of Silence, but it was there.

In this Hannibal tale, Hannibal is living in Italy as Clarice deals with problems after a drug raid goes haywire. Also Hannibal's only surviving victim has a plan up his sleeves if he can ever get at him. The FBI decides to put Clarice back on the Lector case. The plot was a little messy in this film and things mostly felt either rushed or entirely too slow.

I realize I'm not talking this movie up much, but it at least deserves a look for Hopkins as Lector again. His performance isn't his Oscar winning one from Silence, but it's still good. Had he had a slightly less obvious, more subtle, and smarter script to work with; who knows what we'd be saying about Hopkins as it pertains to this movie. Too bad that isn't the case.

As it is this was worthwhile film for me. I still enjoyed it despite its many, many faults and the fact that Ridley Scott didn't deliver what was expected. I can pretty much guarantee you will be disappointed in the outcome of this movie if you have seen Silence. If you haven't seen Silence, go watch it. That's a priority. Hannibal is just a shock hungry film that holds on to just enough of the originals formula to be a minor recommendation.
Super Reviewer
November 24, 2006
Hannibal Lecter has left the United States and began a new life posing as an art historian in Italy but when a local detective discovers his true identity he returns to old habits. Being a huge Ridley Scott fan I'm probably biased but I prefer this to the over-rated Silence of the Lambs. It reeks atmosphere and has a grand, almost operatic atmosphere that transcends its pulpy origins. I found Hopkins' more restrained and less glib performance more menacing and I also preferred Julianne Moore's Agent Starling with Ray Liotta's "typical sexist male" as the only weak link in an otherwise very well performed and intelligent Gothic horror show.
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2012
Its really difficult to decide whether this is good or not. Personally, it was okay. Although it doesn't feature Jodie Foster reprising her role,Julianne Moore takes her place and portrays a different, but unique Clarice Starling. The violence does almost top 'Silence of the Lambs', but some of it seem reckless. Anthony Hopkins does return as his creepy and cannibalistic role. Its worth a look, but don't expect it to have the same scares and iconic moments from the 1991 masterpiece
Super Reviewer
½ June 13, 2006
This is probably one of the greatest failures of film history as far as sequels go. Not a bad film per se, but nowhere near the brilliancy of The Silence of the Lambs. Why is that so? I primarily blame the book and script. We all know Ridley Scott knows how to create compelling and spectacular films. He simply has not much to work with here. Of course author Thomas Harris didn't feel like copying his masterpiece and you have to appreciate it. The new setting of Florence feels too different, the fact that Starling is stuck to her research basement for half the film and we follow an Italian inspector for a while even makes it hard to care for much that is going on in the beginning. Hopkins is still excellent, but even his character does not feel like the Lecter we know. Same goes for Starling, for which Julianne Moore is not to blame. Going a different direction and having characters change for a sequel is fine, entirely failing to add to what was established and play with the elements that were loved is not. What the plot is missing in real suspense it is trying to compensate by gruesome violence and lots of disgusting scenes. The only excellent part of the film is Hans Zimmer's beautiful score he wrote for the (fake) opera the characters listen to. Once it is playing over the end credits, it actually makes you think you've seen a better film than you actually did. Disappointing, even if entertaining.
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2007
Ridley Scott had no chance in competing with The Silcence of the Lambs....so he did something different....And I think he did it good. Anthony Hopkins is cold as ice. And Julianne Moore is okay. It would have been great with Jodie Foster
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2011
Crap compared to the incredible Silence of the Lambs
Super Reviewer
½ May 1, 2011
This film experienced a massive drop off in quality compared to it's predecessor, "The Silence of the Lambs". I'm not even sure why a sequel was necessary, especially one as poorly conceived as this. This films blows the subtleties that made the first film brilliant way out of proportion. In fact, most of this film was just far fetched. Despite all the gore, it still manages to be boring. Do yourself a favor, like Jodie Foster did, avoid this crap.
Super Reviewer
January 28, 2011
I am a fan of Ridley Scott's "Hannibal," more so than most people. I like the film, for simply, realizing that it can never be Jonathan Demme's "The Silence of the Lambs." There was no way this sequel could ever live up to it's Oscar winning predecessor. Scott knew this from the start. What he does here is craft a film that, yes acts as a sequel, but also acts as it's own standalone story. "Hannibal" is so different in tone, style and narrative than "The Silence of the Lambs" that is practically forces you judge it on it's own merits. (The presence of Julianne Moore alone dictates this.) The picture Scott has made is quietly thrilling, visually striking and very atmospheric. "Hannibal" is the definition of an elegant horror film. Where "The Silence of the Lambs" was a procedural thriller, "Hannibal" is a psychological horror film. Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman and Ray Liotta are all very good here. The film also adds in a very dark sense of humor to the proceedings, finding it's own way of incorporating the sense of macabre so important to the first film. Overall, I really like "Hannibal", it's engrossing, well made and a very interesting way of crafting a sequel.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2011
A few steps down from Silence of the Lambs. Drawn out and the film at times loses itself. Julianne Moore is a good actress but she wasn't a good fit for the Clarice role, didn't work at all like Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2. Gary Oldman's character was quite creepy, just nasty. Good classical music backdrop to blend in with the brain eating.
Super Reviewer
½ January 13, 2011
Anthony Hopkins is back in his brilliant portrayal of the killer/cannibalistic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. You get much more of an insight of this sadistic yet highly intelligent lunatic by seeing him do his thing. "Okie-dokie".
Gary Oldman's haunting portrayal of the severely disfigured victim of Lecter's(Mason Verger) is so effective that I didn't have a clue it was him until I saw his name in the credits. He gives full credit to the makeup artists because what they did is actually quite hard to look at, but Oldman uses it to his advantage indeed.
Julianne Moore is perfect in the role of the woman(Clarice Starling) who fascinates Hannibal Lecter in every way. This film isn't the best follow up, but it does have a quality about it that just makes you watch in disbelief. And hey, some of these situations actually allow for some laughs.
Super Reviewer
½ September 29, 2010
Hannibal is a gloriously looking, truly beautiful film about some grim, truly ugly people. It's also a confusing juxtaposition that has torn people between hating it and rather liking it; I myself have seen it three to four times over the years but remarkably, remain in a certain state of not being necessarily too fond of it. Whilst the locations of the Virginian outback and the streets of Florence are shot exquisitely, with a mesmeric soundtrack, most of the characters in Hannibal possess a sense of evil; of wrong-doing; of ugliness, and in two particular male characters of a law-enforcing nature, they can possess these attributes whilst maintaining an outer shell of somewhat rugged handsomeness. This, as the photogenic female lead has to deal with a public shaming following a chaotic opening gunfight, as inner-demons threaten to feast away at her. The film is one-part chase thriller as the titular character remains constantly on the run; one-part journey of redemption; one-part detective thriller as one man goes it alone in tracking someone down and one-part revenge tale.

But there is that sense of pantomime, or melodrama, when Anthony Hopkins' legendary screen character Dr. Hannibal Lecter is revealed as a physical presence for the first time; he turns to face us, the perspective is just to the side of the character of Renaldo Pazzi (Giannini), an Italian police officer, and there is that overly dramatic sense in us knowing who he is but the hapless supporting character not. This is all just before it is revealed Lecter is gunning for a job as a sort of curator at a centuries old library in Florence, and that his predecessor has mysteriously vanished only recently. To a degree, it all sort of works in its own odd little screwball way. Both Harris' 1999 book and this 2001 adaptation seem to warm to the character of Lecter without embracing him, and in titling the film 'Hannibal', the piece moves away from other series titles such as Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs; two headings that were linked to both the plight and internal difficulties of the serial killing antagonist The Tooth Fairy and lead Clarice Starling, respectively.

Clarice Starling is indeed back but is played by Julianne Moore, who does a relatively fine job. Curiously, rather than distance itself from 1991's popular and vastly acknowledged work of brilliance The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal makes the curious decision to evoke immediate, somewhat nostalgic, memories of said film in having Starling play back all the old tapes from when she interviewed Lecter. It's an odd reference to the previous film, an early 'getting out of the way' if you like of texts of old. But there's a sense that the film has its own identity anyway, and eventually comes across as being split into two distinct halves; a sequence, of which, at the beginning of the second half that sees Lecter chased around by some mercenaries employed by disgruntled past-Lecter victim Mason Verger (Oldman). They have it in mind to capture him so that Verger may wreck a horrid revenge, and it's an important sequence, a shifting of power as to where the film's chief levels of antagonism will arise. Previously, Verger was rendered deformed after an altercation with Lecter many years ago; in the process made to look a freak on the outside and just as ugly as on the inside when it arises he had engaged in prior acts of paedophilia, but is now mostly confined to a wheelchair; further still trapped within his huge manner house and vast acres of land.

The multi-strand approach initially sees Lecter based in Italy, giving away his whereabouts following the sending of a letter to Clarice, who is going through her own crisis of confidence with the F.B.I. following a market place shoot out in which an agent is killed. Starling is again struggling with the sexual advances that come with working within the male dominated world in which she operates, with the film making a point as to capture fellow agent Paul Krendler's (Liotta) glances at her in a meeting very early on while later; his physical position within the room they are talking sees him sit himself on a desk, thus looming over a sitting Starling when criticising those of Lecter's kind in that they have a taste for items of a high art nature and therefore are bound to be somewhat strange.

For the best part, the film is a Florence-set pot boiler revolving around Pazzi's attempts at dealing with Lecter who's operating under a pseudonym. The very gradual realisation and plan of action Pazzi puts into operation in capturing Lecter is constructed nicely, director Scott applying a fair amount of menace in having Lecter come across as someone whom may or may not know of Pazzi's plan. Scott additionally applies a variety of long shots at the most heightened of times; a telephone call to the F.B.I. ends with a shot of an entire plaza and that uneasy, mystical sense that someone may by out there amongst the array of busy bodies, observing what he's done; indeed heard the entire conversation if that were at all possible. There's a certain disturbing poetry to most of Lecter's murders in Hannibal, in that each victim evicts some sort of sinful tendency in their aims prior to their demise; be it lust, wrath or greed. It's easier to associate oneself with Lecter in the film as this wondering, loose serial killer but in making those around Lecter so unrelatable, the film rather brilliantly avoids rendering Lecter neither a romanticised figure nor someone we ought to feel natural affection toward. The film is uneven in tone, and pulls out the sort of gross content that sees it severely clash with most of its overall look, but as a pulpy tale of a killer on the loose; a vengeful past victim and a righteous detective on the hunt, Hannibal is in the end a ok film based on a book that I didn't like at all. Its as I said a film that has people who love and hate it so I suggest giving it a watch and judge for yourself
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
As an adaptation, this movie doesn't do the book justice. As a horror/thriller film though, it's pretty decent. It doesn't live up to or surpass its predecessor, but few films can or could.

The location shooting is wonderful, as is the general look. I've actually been to one of the locations they shot at in person (the balcony scene with the hanging/disembowling). I've seen the balcony, building, and surrounding area it was shot at, and wandered around there for a while. It was cool.

The story is, I'm not gonna lie, kind of a contrived mess, but it's not that bad. There's not as much depth, and gore is favored above all, but I still have a hard time crying foul on this movie. I guess I just love the cast, locations, and the realism of the gruesomeness. Scott is a great director, but this isn't one of his better films. It's not his worst, but I think they should have kept Demme on board.

Julianne Moore is no Jodie Foster, but her Clarice Starling is still pretty good, and Moore is a great actress in her own right. Hopkins once again delivers as Hannibal, Ray Liotta is a great asshole, and Gary Oldman rocks as the ridiculously creepy and twisted Mason Verger out for revenge. He's unrecognizable, but is definitely unforgettable.
Super Reviewer
½ June 8, 2010
Hannibal is a different film than Silence Of The Lambs. It definitely lacks the bite in what made Silence such a thrill ride, but this film is still good in its own way. The absence of Jodie Foster brings the film down a notch, but Julianne Moore proves a capable replacement for the part. This film features a billionaire wanting to exact revenge on Lector. The film is less thrilling than Silence Of The Lambs, but it's still a pretty good film to watch and does have good scares and thrills, but it's nothing compared to its predecessor. Hannibal is directed by Ridley Scott and he brings Thomas Harri's novel to life and his directing is phenomenal for this film as it is still a terrific film to watch with an awesome climax.
Super Reviewer
½ July 13, 2007
Another great thriller about the cannibal. There are some horrible scenes where he is eating the brain of a victim.
Super Reviewer
½ November 26, 2009
This was nowhere near the calibur of Red Dragon or Silence of the Lambs, but is still extremely fun. Anthony Hopkins still plays a great Hannibal Lecter and is worth the movie alone. I hated the recasting of Jodie Foster, but Julianne Moore wasn't terrible. Gary Oldman also made a great freakishly deformed child killer.
Super Reviewer
½ November 19, 2009
Sadly, I found myself watching this, and I was too tired to turn the channel. As I've said before, I find Anthony Hopkins to be one of the most overrated actors of his generation, and it's very interesting that he was discovered and encouraged by Olivier, the most overrated actor of his own previous generation. Like Olivier, Hopkins is very good at playing characters, but he can never completely disappear in a character, so you're always stuck with thinking, "Okay, I'm watching Anthony Hopkins do an Anthony Hopkins' idea of a character." Olivier, same problem. You're always watching Olivier acting, not able to fully believe that you're watching someone else. That ability to become absolutely the character you're playing, to lose yourself in that character, is a rare talent. Folks like Newman and Nicholson, for instance, are supremely gifted in their ability to do this. Just as in Silence of the Lambs, the Lektor/Lecter character is actually a Hopkins caricature, and the result is fairly ridiculous. In just a very brief appearance in the 1986 William Petersen Manhunter movie, Brian Cox is able to do a much more chillingly natural Lektor/Lecter than Hopkins could ever hope to pull off. Cox's Lecktor/Lecter doesn't have to kill anyone, or skin anyone, or cook anyone. He accomplishes a fully realized character just through his words and actions when he's already behind bars. No leering facial expressions, no lip licking, no almost comical character traits of any kind. Hopkins was pretty ludicrous in Lambs, but at least he had Foster to save the movie. No such luck here. Even more poorly equipped an actor than Hopkins, Julianne Moore couldn't hold up a helium balloon, let alone a movie opposite a talent as tenuous as Hopkins.
Super Reviewer
½ September 16, 2009
I though Hannibal was quite good. I remember it got slammed by the critics, which I always thought was quite unfair. Hopkins was on good form, Scott's direction was beautifully atmospheric and Gary Oldman's performances was brilliant. I loved the brain eating scene too! My only gripe is that Foster didn?t reprise her role. She?s not one of my favourite actresses but I hate it when they replace characters in film sequels, it?s a bit of a pet hate.
Super Reviewer
March 8, 2007
The thriller film had me captivated with its style, twisty plot, acting and gore. In the cinema, my mum was awfully shocked while she held her hand on my arm very tight (owww!) when she saw Hannibal (Anthony Hopkins) removed the top of Krendler's (Ray Liotta) skull, cut out part of his brain.
It is beautifully filmed by a talented director and crew, and features lovely Italian location scenes which contrast with the grim plot. The acting is mainly excellent. Hopkins character appears creepier due to him beginning to resemble a kindly grandad, who suddenly turns and eats your brain. Julianne Moore`s excellent Clarice vaguely reminded me of Ripley, the star of Ridley Scotts masterpiece Alien. At worst, the rest of the cast were well above average.
Super Reviewer
January 27, 2007
I like this film a lot, but of course it suffers - as all sequels do - by comparison to its predecessor, in this case 'Silence of the Lambs' The main reason for having a sequel at all was to showcase again the character of Hannibal Lecter, a monstrous creation everyone wanted to see more of after the first film. It could have bombed badly therefore if writer and actor had let us down by failing to catch the magic again. It was after all a decade after the original was made. But they don't, and Anthony Hopkins turns in another delicious performance as the man with the evil intent cloaked in inestimable, menacing charm.

Julianne Moore drew the short straw in having to re-create the Clarice Starling role that had been so memorably played by another actress. She does well in my opinion, but inevitably we keep thinking 'where is Jodie Foster?', and this lends her portrayal a lack of credibility which is entirely unfair. Gary Oldman's Mason Verger is suitably loathsome and manages to make Lecter seem almost like the hero in their battle of wits. If there is a weak link, Ray Liotta's Krendler seems a bit misplaced.

The direction deserves special mention. The lush, beautiful settings are mocked by the horror of what is happening in them and the perfectly-selected atmospheric music stayed in my mind long after the film had ended.

Once again, the film lacks realism, but as with the original, it doesn't matter. Of course things like this don't really happen - but so what? It's a film. Get over it! I was prompted after seeing it to read the books, and the right decision was made in changing the ending of this story from that written by Thomas Harris.

We were subsequently treated to another look at Lecter in a decent prequel movie, 'Red Dragon,' but I will not be alone in hoping that some day we will see yet more of him in a further instalment. Unlikely I suspect - but not impossible.

Im giving a serious though in to eating your wife.

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