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Hannibal (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2001)

A 2001 movie directed by Ridley Scott

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Eat Your Liver and Fava Beans, or You won't get Dessert

  • Feb 11, 2001
Pros: The world's greatest psycho is back, doing what he does best!

Cons: The changed ending is really bad.

The Bottom Line: Good, but not worth full price.

Well, folks, it's been 10 years since we last saw the escaped Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter walk off into the sunset, in search of someone to have for dinner at the end of "The Silence of the Lambs". Now, Hannibal is back in a film all of his own. It's a shame he's lost his bite.
The beginning of "Hannibal" finds FBI agent Clarice Starling leading a drug raid that goes horribly wrong-no thanks to a cocky cop-and being disgraced by the boys in charge, especially by Congress-bound Paul Krendler, who hates her guts. One day she comes home to a letter from Hannibal, who has been following her public disgracing, and is put back on his case. Meanwhile, millionare Mason Verger, Hannibal's fourth victim, is tracking Hannibal's every move on the internet. Turns out some Italian sold Hannibal's location to Verger for a tidy sum. The action moves from Washington to Italy as we see Verger's lackeys attempt to capture Hannibal so he can find some inhumanely cruel way to punish Hannibal.
Lots of action, lots of blood, lots of gore. And some spectacular views if Italy, thanks to director Ridley Scott. But very little suspense, though that could be because I read the book when it came out last year. But there is signifacantly less suspense than there was in "The Silence of the Lambs". Remember the climactic scene in "The Silence of the Lambs", when Buffalo Bill stalked Clarice with night vision goggles while Clarice fumbled around in the dark? Remember how you were biting your nails, on the edge of your seat, resisting the temptation to yell "LOOK OUT!!" to the screen? You honestly thought she would be killed. Well, none of that in "Hannibal".
Could be because "Hannibal" lacks 3 people that made "Silence" so memorable: Director Jonathan Demme, screenwriter Ted Tally, and actress Jodie Foster. Even worse, their replacments are are, in my opinion, vastly more talented than their predessors: Ridley Scott directing, David Mamet and Steve Zaillian writing, and Jullianne Moore playing Clarice Starling. Aside from them, we've got Ray Liotta playing Krendler and an unrecognisable Gary Oldman playing Verger. And the most beautiful cinematography of Italy since "The Talented Mr. Ripley". All of these actors are at their best, too. Hell, Moore outdoes Jodie Foster as Clarice. Anthony Hopkins, who won his Oscar for playing Hannibal in "Silence", is even more fun the second time around. These people are part of the reason that "Hannibal" is such a letdown.
Another reason that "Hannibal" is such a letdown is that it lacks much of the book's depth. In the book, we had a side plot about Hannibal getting over his sister's death that explained a lot of things. But not the movie. Oh no. That would slow the action down too much.
Perhaps the worst part of "Hannibal" the movie is the ending. It leaves us speculating again, which means we might get another sequel, and that would probably ruin the franchise. I don't think we will be getting another book. The book's ending was so unexpected and so final that it couldn't have been more perfect. On the other hand, the screenwriters should be shot for their revised ending. Although we still get the brain scene that disgusted most of the people in the theater.
Despite it's flaws, "Hannibal" is still a movie worth seeing. To see Anthony Hopkins return to his greatest role is worth a couple of bucks (wait till you hear him say "I'm giving serious thought to eating your wife"!). And the aformentioned "brain scene" WILL give you chills. Despite the flaws, "Hannibal" also has plenty of redeeming values. So go see it...At the half-price theater.


Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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More Hannibal (2001 movie) reviews
review by . June 08, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore rock my socks     Cons: Took forever for Hannibal and Clarice to meet up...     The Bottom Line: "Well, hello Clarice..."     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. I know there have already been plenty of reviews on Hannibal, but I’ve just recently had a taste (*cue evil snicker*) of it myself, and I just have to say something about it. First I’ll give …
review by . September 09, 2003
After ten years, the world waited eagerly for the sequel to the legendary THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Finally, they have it - although I'm sure it's not at all what they expected. HANNIBAL is the result of what most will see as a Ridley Scott-Anthony Hopkins-Hans Zimmer collaboration. Adapted from Thomas Harris' best-selling (although much weaker) novel, HANNIBAL follows only the basic plot of the novel. Anthony Hopkins returns to his Oscar-winning role as cannibal genius Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who …
review by . March 15, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Sometimes art gives us a villian that is more memorable and interesting than the hero. Witness for example the villians of STAR WARS: Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Darth Maul; or the man-eating shark in JAWS; or Shakespeare's MacBeth or Iago. In 1991 another villian entered the collective group conscience and grew into a larger figure in the fabric of American pop culture. That villian's name is Hannibal Lecter and SILENCE OF THE LAMBS marked the beginning of his dynasty. Now he's back in a sequel …
review by . September 29, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
The moment he signed on to film Hannibal, Ridley Scott must have known he would be thrown out of the window and left to dangle like a Pazzi. It was utterly unavoidable that Hannibal would be held up against Jonathan Demme's rendition of Silence of the Lambs, and inevitable it would come off second best. Silence of the Lambs is not just any old potboiler, after all.So, instead of going head-to-head with Demme in the serial thriller stakes, Scott has done what any sensible director would do - made …
review by . August 25, 2001
I guess the first indicator should have been that Jodie Foster didn't want anything to do with the project.. but having loved the first movie so much, I figured I had to see where the characters had gone in 10 years.. I should have left it to my imagination. The only mainstay of the 2-part series was Hannibal Lecter's cannabilistic ways. Jodie Foster WAS Clarice Starling, and the best part of the first film was her on-screen chemistry with Hopkins' Lecter. Moore's characterization of Clarice, hardened …
review by . February 06, 2001
Pros: Good Story, chilling.     Cons: May be to gory and intense for some.     The Bottom Line: Solid film, and very entertaining.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. One of the most compelling screen villains in ages returns to the big screen in "Hannibal", the film adaptation of the controversial sequel to "The Silence Of the Lambs" by Thomas Harris.    When we last left Dr. Hannibal …
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Yes, he's back, and he's still hungry. Ten years afterThe Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins, reprising his Oscar-winning role) is living the good life in Italy, studying art and sipping espresso. FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore, replacing Jodie Foster), on the other hand, hasn't had it so good--an outsider from the start, she's now a quiet, moody loner who doesn't play bureaucratic games and suffers for it. A botched drug raid results in her demotion--and a request from Lecter's only living victim, Mason Verger (Gary Oldman, uncredited), for a little Q and A. Little does Clarice realize that the hideously deformed Verger--who, upon suggestion from Dr. Lecter, peeled off his own face--is using her as bait to lure Dr. Lecter out of hiding, quite certain he'll capture the good doctor.

Taking the basic plot contraptions from Thomas Harris's baroque novel, Hannibal is so stylistically different from its predecessor that it forces you to take it on its own terms. Director Ridley Scott gives the film a sleek, almost European look that lets you know that, unlike the first film (which was about the quintessentially American Clarice), this movie is all Hannibal. Does it work? Yes--but only up to a point. Scott adeptly sets up an atmosphere of foreboding, but it's all buildup for anticlimax, as Verger's plot for abducting Hannibal (and feeding him to man-eating wild boars) doesn't ...

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Director: Ridley Scott
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 2001
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: August 21, 2001
Runtime: 131 minutes
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
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"He's Back."
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