Hannibal (2001) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Hannibal (2001) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on August 25th, 2019 | Movie Review | Killer, Cannibalism, Madness, Thriller, Hannibal Lecter Series

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It's about a manhunt to capture the elusive Hannibal The Cannibal, both by the FBI and by Hannibal Lecter's only surviving victim (a dude so mutilated he makes The Elephant Man look like Edward Norton).

Hannibal was directed by Ridley Scott (who also directed Alien and Alien: Covenant) and stars Anthony Hopkins (from The Rite, Red Dragon), Julianne Moore (from Carrie, Shelter) and Gary Oldman (from Tau, RoboCop).

The silence is broken.

Hannibal Review

Hannibal is the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, the movie that made cannibalism cool.

The movie starts out with some woman doing FBI stuff, crime fighting and what not. People keep calling her Agent Starling, but it's not THE Clarice Starling, right? Turns out they subbed out Jodie Foster for Julianne Moore and you just have to accept it. Julianne does a pretty good Jodie Foster impersonation, but it still takes a few scenes to come to terms with the swap.

Turns out this movie was based off a novel that came out 8 years after Silence of the Lambs and for whatever reason Foster backed out of the movie adaptation along with other key members of Silence of the Lambs including the director and screenwriter. Eventually the original producer of Manhunter (the movie Silence of the Lambs rebooted) pitched the script to Ridley Scott who agreed to direct it.

Hannibal picks up ten years after Lecter runs off to "have an old friend for dinner" and finds him hiding out in Italy. The FBI resumes the chase, puts Clarice v2 in charge, calls on a dirty cop in Italy for help and has their hunt railroaded more than once by a surviving victim of Lecter's out for revenge. This victim cut off his own face for Lecter, while on some crazy drugs, which Lecter then fed to his dog. Let's just say this guy is NOT easy on the eyes.

Overall Hannibal is a great movie, way more violent than Silence of the Lambs and entertaining from start to finish. It also focuses entirely on Hannibal Lecter, as opposed to splitting screen time with Buffalo Bill or another similar serial killing sidekick. Interestingly, Manhunter only featured Lecter as a small side story, Silence of the Lambs featured him more and Hannibal featured him the most (so far, there's still two movies to go in this series).

This movie is by far most memorable for one particularly gruesome scene near the end that shows Lecter feeding a guy his own brains. I mean, the guy was a prick but still, that's some tough justice!

Worth Watching?

In an interview back in '99 Jodie Foster said she didn't like Hannibal because the characterization of Starling "betrayed" the original character. Ugh, Hollywood amirite? Don't listen to her, Agent Starling kicks ass in this one just as much as she did the previous. It's a fun, and much bloodier, sequel that all fans of Hannibal Lecter should watch.

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