← Back to Reviews
Hannibal (2001)

I know, I know. Weird film to start with. Hannibal was the last film I watched and what prompted me to start this thread. It is to express my opinions on films and explain why I whether I like or dislike the films. Hannibal, in my opinion, is a well-made, entertaining thriller, that improves on it's source material and makes for a devilishly fun watch.

10 years after Silence Of The Lambs, Clarice Starling is a disgraced FBI agent who is put back on the case of Hannibal Lector, a serial killer/cannibal who escaped from prison 10 years ago. Clarice Starling begins to investigate Lector and Mason Verger, the only surviving Lector victim, who has his own agenda for Hannibal. Meanwhile, Lector is alive and living in Florence, Italy. He is living under the name of Dr. Fell, until a police officer begins to snoop around.

Ridley Scott took over the directorial reins for this sequel and, regardless of popular opinion, he does a fine job. He stages fine suspense sequences and has an excellent attention to detail. I'm not a fan of Scott at all, but he did good with this one. David Mamet provides the script, which is average and not up to scale with his previous efforts. However, he still wrote an enjoyable adaptation of the below average book.

The main problem that lies with Hannibal and it's mixed reception, is it's use of the routine horror sequel conventions. The death scenes are much more elaborate, there is way more violence and gore and it lacks the inventive feel of the first. Scott tries to push past this, but with a routine script and underwritten characters, this was destined to fail critically and commercially.

But I still enjoyed this film immensely, the Florence chapter in particular. It is a superb 30-40 minutes, with brilliant colour use, production design and music. It also has a very interesting and convincing character in Commandatore Pazzi, a man blinded by greed that he can not foresee obvious danger.

Hannibal is fun, violent and even unintentionally laughable. I loved every moment of it.