Posted: May 8, 2011 9:17 am in Review


R – 131 Min – 2001

Check Out The Trailer

Starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter and Julianne Moore as Clarice Starling, “Hannibal” is the riveting sequel to “The Silence of the Lambs” that finds Lecter’s only surviving victim trying to draw the serial killer out of hiding. Eager to get his revenge on the sadistic killer, the now-hideously scarred Mason Verger uses the one person Lecter cares about as bait: FBI agent Clarice Starling.

So we reach the end of the original Hannibal trilogy, leaving only the prequel to the entire series. And I must say, the movies haven’t really been all that bad. The fear of seeing mass amounts of blood, and having it be a scary movie, was replaced by very smart story lines and a insanely creepy villain. They definitely rank high up on the psychopath killer movies. This installment however, did have a few scenes that made me cringe.

First off, they recast Clarice Starling from Jodie Foster to Julianne Moore, which I couldn’t be happier about personally. Her performance in “Silence” drove me crazy. I couldn’t stand that accent any longer. So to see a very strong and talented actress take over the iconic role was perfectly fine by me. Not only does Julianne’s “Clarice” have a much more polished accent (so much easier on the ears), I just like her acting style better. And once again, Anthony Hopkins plays his role as no one else could. This franchise should never be remade, because nobody could ever play such a sadistic and yet charming psycho. This movie didn’t really have any other well known actors, which is a good thing. The less known actors, aside from the ones filling the main roles, means more focus on the main characters. Ray Liotta played the fateful role of Paul Krendler, and Gary Oldman played the haunting role of Mason Verger, the only surviving victim of Hannibal’s (he is horribly disfigured due to Hannibal making him cut his own face off). And that’s it for the known actors.

The over all tone of this movie is totally different from the previous two, in that this movie Hannibal is free in the world, due to the happenings in the end of “Silence”. It’s hard to tell if Mason Verger didn’t try to locate him if he would have just stayed under the radar and not killed again, but he did hoping for a little revenge. The relationship between Clarice and Hannibal takes a different turn in this film as well. Instead of the cat and mouse game played in the previous film, they opted to make it a more love interest kind of story. Which aids in the creepiness of the movie near the end, but has a very different feel.

The movie starts with Hannibal in Europe under an assumed name, and Clarice continuing to be a good agent, but is haunted by memories and thoughts of Hannibal (quite frankly obsessed). When Mason uses her as bait to get at his enemy, Hannibal stops at nothing to bring him down, including a nasty death scene involving a balcony in Rome (I believe). Once we see the showdown between the two you see that Mason, who has had years to come up with the perfect revenge death for Hannibal, has trained boars to attack men to a song. Sounds pretty lame. Anyways, Hannibal with the aid of Clarice (who saves his life? why?) end up killing everyone by letting the boars attack them. The ending is the what made me cringe and feel sick to my stomach. Clarice who is now under his spell and imprisoned by Hannibal, watches as he takes off the top of  Paul Krendler’s skull and cuts out pieces of his brain. While he’s still alive, cooks it, and feeds it to him. Gross. Also we assume that Clarice would be his sex slave if time would have allowed. But the cavalry come in and Hannibal escapes. Big shocker there. The very end however, quite gross, and just, a open way of ending a series. Like there should be more.

Over all, I give this one 3 and a half monkeys because it was a decent end to the storyline, and actually delivered a few more thrills then the other two did. Plus, again I say the difference between Jodie and Julianne alone made this for me. I liked it, so give it a shot. The only thing I wish was left out was the weird love thing going on between these two. And maybe tone down the brain scenes.


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