HANNIBAL (2001)

hannibal______2

Directed By: Ridley Scott
Written By: David Mamet & Steve Zallian
Based On The Novel By: Thomas Harris
Cinematography By: John Mathieson
Editor: Pietro Scalia

Cast: Julianne Moore, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta, Frankie Faison, Hazzelle Goodman, Giancarlo Giannini, Francesca Neri, Zeljko Ivanek, Don McManus, Ajay Naidu,

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, 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  has it in for her. But she gets a reprieve because Mason Verger , 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.

This was a highly anticipated sequel that feels super charged for the audience but feels somewhat weak and lacking in coherence. As it feels it goes off several deep ends but reins it in when you want it to keep going further. The absence of Jodie Foster coming back as well as Director Jonathan Demme makes it feel a little empty and more of a cash grab rather then a proper reunion and sequel.

Other then some amazing action and set pieces plus some sublime art direction and Special Effects. The film Doesn’t have much going for it. Technical wise it’s amazing but material wise it is profoundly disappointing. It feels like much of it was made up in a fever dream and not fully thought through.

When this film first came out i was still working at a movie theater. I was a;so still at a age where i felt as a true movie fan. It was my duty to see most major releases, Even if the preview looked unappealing. Though it certainly helped at the time i could see most movies for free. So this seemed like a must see though if it came out now iprobably would have waited for DVD.

To tell you the truth i have never totally worshipped at the throne of Ridley Scott. he does give it the old college try but feels too distanced.

I certainly respect him as a director and i Respect his body of work. But more often then not i have been disappointed by his work.

I thought this was a interesting opportunity since he directed the first ALIEN movie and with each sequel in that series a new director took it over and transformed it to their vision and strengths. With this film here was a opportunity for himto do the same with a film from a unlikely franchise.

This film to me is cold and mechanical. Though not in a good way since we already know the two main characters. The film shouldbe more character driven and warm, I understand replacing a main Cast member is a major hurdle, but one of the reasons Julianne Moore’s perfromance doesn’t work is Clarice from SILENCE OF THE LAMBS Was steely but vulnerable and was asked to be intelligent yet emotional underneath the tough exterior. Here she is all steel inside and out and lacks the chemistry needed for the bizarre relationship between her and hannibal Lecter. It would have been a revelation to See Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins Reunited onscreen bringing us in the audience memories of theprevious film and their chemistry now rekindled like the characters they portray when they are finally reunited, But with Julianne Moore Playing the character when they are reunited it’s great for the characters but feels flat as this is the actors forst time really working together.

The Best Scenes are the opening Shootout, The Stalking Of Hannibal by a pickpocket, and the Dinner Scene With Ray Liotta which is amazing just for the dynamics and Special Effects involved that make it look so real. Gary Oldman is a stand-out in the cast even though his character is ridiculous, but is the main antigonist. The role was first offered to Christopher Reeve who turned it down.

While writing the novel Thomas Harris Forwarded his work to Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster and Anthony hopkins. they decided they didn’t like the direction the characters took in it. So all But Hopkins dropped out. Anthony Hopkins almost Dropped out as he wanted to work with the original Cast and crew. If he did the producers seriously contemplated replacing him with Tim Roth. He decided to stay on the film and give it a chance. David Fincehr was intitally considered as a replacement director for Jonathan Demme.

It’s just a bizarre film the content has the quality of a midnight movie, But is aimed at mainstream audiences witha huge budget. The film takes place years after the first film. Hannibal is living in italy. When Clarice has a raid on a fugitive that goes wrong and she is personally blamed and suspended. Upon reading this Hannibal decides to come back to the United States. Though initally hehas a italian Detective on his trail as well as aold Multi-Millioanre ex patient who is disabled and blames the doctor for his disfigurement. Then the film shifts towards the end into some Macabre love story.

It’s a strange film but like most sequels it doesn’t come close to living upto the original. Which has one vision. This vision is Haywire and epic.

A good Rental, Trust me there is nothing quite like it out there.

GRADE: C

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