Hannibal (2001)


Crime | Thriller


Ridley Scott




Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta, Frankie Faison, Giancarlo Giannini, Ċ½eljko Ivanek, Hazelle Goodman, Robert Rietty, David Andrews, Francis Guinan, James Opher, Enrico Lo Verso, Ivano Marescotti, Danielle de Niese


Having escaped the asylum, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) goes into hiding in Florence, Italy, and tries to reconnect with now disgraced FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) as he finds himself a target for revenge from one old victim of his (Gary Oldman).


Ten years after the spectacular "The Silence of the Lambs", "Hannibal" was released, a good, but not great crime thriller film.

Although the comparison with his predecessor is quite natural, it wouldn't be fair to compare the two films, not because of the quality, but for the approach of the director to the given material. While Jonathan Demme brought to the screen a brilliant character study and analysis of human behavior, Ridley Scott brought to the screen a Hollywood kind of thriller, complete with black humour and special effects. 

That being said, let's move onto the next point, the script. The story is intriguing and keeps you glued to the screen, but it is not flawless. It does have many plot holes, and the tension isn't tremendously high. The characters are very interesting, but there's too many of them and the story moves too fast to allow a proper characterization.

The film also relies heavily on graphic violence and shock factor, and while some have complained about that, I really appreciated it because it is never excessive and the timing is just perfect.

Finally, the acting is good. Anthony Hopkins blesses us with another horrific and terrific performance as Dr. Hannibal Lecter as he is allowed to play with the character a little bit. Julianne Moore goes well as Clarice Starling, but her portrayal unfairly lacks of credibility because one matches the character to Jodie Foster. Then there is an unrecognisable Gary Oldman that does a good job but is obviously eclipsed by Hopkins. Giancarlo Giannini also gives a good performance in his minor role. I just feel sorry for Ray Liotta, he really deserved a better character.