Hannibal (2001)


Dave’s 3-Word Review
Inferior, still psychological.

Hello, Clarice.

It has been a while since my previous review, and for good reason. You see… I’ve been finishing up an intriguing television series called Breaking Bad, not that you care; but you know what they say, Clarice, distance makes the heart grow fonder. So where do we begin, Clarice, where do we begin? Oh. Yes, a review of Hannibal would be a fine place to begin, wouldn’t it? I suppose, but beware. The more you look into Hannibal the Cannibal, the more you are likely to wind up sitting at his table, eating a sample of your own brains. Ta-ta… -H

10 years have passed since we have last seen the slow speaking psychopath, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), and he’s still lurking about. A survivor of his cannibalistic life has surfaced by the name of Mason Verger (Gary Oldman), and his face is a mangled up and contorted mess. Verger is hell-bent on taking out vengeance on ol’ Hannibal. His plan is to somehow find him through the help of Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) and feeding the man to a bunch of wild and hungry warthogs. So who will get to him first? Will it be Verger or Starling? Or will they all wind up swirling around in Hannibal’s specialty – human stew?

I guess the first thing to mention would be the change in actress. Jodie Foster to Julianne Moore. I’m not entirely sure what other critics thought about this change, but I personally thought it was perfect. Both actresses fit the role very well, and in general these ladies play…similar roles, even look similar in the right light. I’ve seen this series before, and I can quite honestly say that the first time around I didn’t even notice a change. Her character in general is very well written as a polar opposite of Lecter. Will Graham was a good choice too, for a different reason entirely, but Starling is monumental, and the most memorable. Moore played it really well, but how did Hopkins do?

Hopkins did a very well job again, but I wouldn’t say as well as in The Silence of the Lambs, and here’s why: Hannibal while confined does a tremendous job at making you feel like you’re the one in prison instead of him, that his power stretches far beyond the walls. Next, in the last film, he had a certain stare that just creeps the heck out of you, as well as a distinguished way of standing and slinking along. It’s almost signature of who Hannibal is. In Hannibal, the slink was gone, the stare was gone, but that slow conniving speech was still there. Heck, he even got a normal haircut versus his creepy hair slicked back as usual. So in all, he just didn’t feel as much like Hannibal in this film as much as the last one.

What this film lost in Hannibal’s personality, it gained in cinematography and writing. The movie had a higher variety of locations to film in, and each of these shots really looked fantastic. That along with the writing really helped this film succeed. There are scenes in this film that I will never forget for the rest of my life, and I honestly don’t think you would either. One in particular involving Ray Liotta. If you have seen the movie, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Hannibal lost some of the chilling personality traits from Hopkins, but reeled in an unforgettable presentation with strong performances from everyone around and haunting scenes that will remain in your mind for all of time.

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