A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer. Aiding him is imprisoned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.
The final chapter of the Dr. Hannibal Lecter quadrilogy, the murdering cannibal. He is presently in Italy, and works as a curator at a museum. Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore), the F.B.I. Agent who he aided to apprehend a serial killer, was placed in charge of an operation, but when one of her men botches it, she's called to the mat by the Bureau. One high ranking official, Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) has it in for her. But she gets a reprieve because Mason Verger (Gary Oldman), one of Lecter's victims who is looking to get back at Lecter for what Lecter did to him, wants to use Starling to lure him out. When Lecter sends her a note, she learns that he's in Italy, so she asks the Police to keep an eye out for him. But a corrupt Policeman, who wants to get the reward that Verger placed on him, tells Verger where he is, but they fail to get him. Later, Verger decides to frame Starling, which makes Lecter return to the U.S., and the race to get Lecter begins.Written by
When Krendler picks up the faked postcard from Lecter, we can see the handwritten text. The last line reads "Sounds like him to me." This last is clearly a part of the dialogue and was not intended for the text of the postcard. See more »
As the opening credits end, Hannibal's face can be seen in the formation of pigeons on the ground before they fly away. See more »
Among scenes removed from the final cut that may show up in the television version is a time filler in which Lecter picks up Krendler's dog and talks to it while going over flower arrangements for his party. See more »
Anthony Hopkins gave an impeccable performance. However, the material he was given to work with was not as good as Silence of the Lambs. In fairness, perhaps there was no way it could be. In SOTL, he was somehow more foreboding, more of a sort of superhuman monster; in Hannibal, he's more accessible, a guy you meet on the street. Maybe it was impossible to maintain the mystery of Lecter that we saw in SOTL because of the risk of doing a rehash. I'd give the overall Dr Lecter character a 9 of 10 in this film, vs. a 10 of 10 in the last one. Not quite as good, but still very good.
Starling's character, on the other hand, fell flat in this film. In SOTL, Foster perfectly portrayed Starling's flat surface with a turbulent depth; in Hannibal, there was nothing under her surface. Foster's Clarice evoked feelings of sympathetic grief, Moore's Clarice evoked nothing. I do not necessarily blame Moore, this could be due to writing and/or directing. Obviously, though SOTL focused mainly on Starling's character, Hannibal focuses on, well, Hannibal. Still, that's no excuse for what was done to Starling. Her character gets a 3 of 10.
The story was much weaker in Hannibal than in SOTL. It almost seemed like an excuse to present us with the characters, rather than a story in and of itself. Still, it had no other major flaws, so it gets a 6 of 10.
Now, there's another category I'll call the shock factor. It's different than ordinary gore, it's... creative gore. The sick, disgusting depravity we expect to see and like to see in this type of film. I can't go into detail without spoiling it, but I'll have to say it goes even beyond what I expected. Do not watch this film if you are squeamish or dislike gore. There isn't a lot of gore in the film, but what there was, was... concentrated. Shock Factor, 10 of 10.
Overall I give the film an 8 of 10. Very well done with a few weaknesses, well worth watching.
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