HANNIBAL Send This Review to a Friend
I don't know whether to review "Hannibal" as a film or as a restaurant. The brains look delicious.
All of the worry about a viewer being disgusted aside, considering that both Thomas Harris's book on which the film is based and the film itself are sequels, the result is reasonably successful. For what it is, of course. Anthony Hopkins again makes Hannibal Lecter a fascinating cannibalistic menace and Julianne Moore is a convincing successor to Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling. Moore, solid in her acting and attractive to boot, steps into the role as if it had always been her part.
Writers David Mamet and Steven Zaillian have given director Ridley Scott material with the right dose of mischief and winking to make the garish nature of the ongoing tale--and there's still potential for a further sequel--palatable for those who enjoy the macabre. The plot, workable if you don't try to test it for credibility, is easy to follow. Lecter is still on the loose, although he hasn't been heard from for ten years. When he surfaces, the old cat and mouse game resumes with Clarice, now in trouble in the FBI because of a drug operation gone wrong.
But there's a complication: One of Lecter's victims, who survived but with a badly mauled and disfigured face, has his own plan to capture the monster and vengefully feed him to a contingent of hungry wild boar. In Florence, where some especially effective scenes occur, Giancarlo Giannini as a police inspector thinks he can capture Lecter for reward money. Ray Liotta is cast as the FBI agent who is Starling's professional enemy. He is not someone we wish well.
Naturally, there is the obligatory quota of culinary motifs designed to make one cringe. Critics have been asked not to reveal the final ten minutes. Suffice it to say that we witness one of the more bizarre setups even for a film of this sort.
If you didn't appreciate "Silence of the Lambs," this one is unlikely to do anything for you either, but if this is a genre to stimulate your movie-going taste buds, you should find "Hannibal" reasonably digestible. Although the sequel isn't as strong as its predecessor, it is a tasty enough dish with its own recipe. An MGM-Universal Pictures release.