e-mail:Smokey X. Digger
2001, Dir. Ridley Scott
Well, with the movie world firmly in the grasp of Hannibalmania, it's time for old Smokey to weigh in. I managed to catch it on its opening weekend, in which it made $58 million and felt little competition. (The Wedding Planner gave new meaning to the term distant second with $7.8 million). Hannibal lacks the suspense that made its predecessor a classic, and basically hammers home the point that we already knew - Hannibal Lecter is one bad motherfucker. But that's not to say that it isn't a distinct pleasure to watch Anthony Hopkins take on a role that he obviously loves doing. As the title implies, it's all about him. Julianne Moore fills Jodie Foster's shoes ably, and also fills a dress that Jodie probably couldn't. And it's always good to have Gary Oldman around, he's truly one of the most talented actors working today. The much ballyhooed gore is minimal, or at least would seem minimal to those who frequent this website and its ilk. Some intestines, some mauling, and the controversial final scene. I can see where this might ruffle a few feathers, but if you can believe that a scene of its nature can be done to comic effect, you can overlook the nastiness.
If you plan to see this, don't expect it to live up to the legend established by Silence. Do expect to see Anthony Hopkins at the top of his game, expanding upon the 27 minutes of Silence. His Lecter is among the most evil screen presences of all time, easily trouncing Gerald Butler's Dracula. Those who have read Thomas Harris' novel (despite being over 500 pages it's an afternoon's reading for anyone with a high school level education) will notice several deviations from the source, most of which work well in this context. Then of course there's the matter of the ending which has been changed entirely, nodding to Hopkins' performance in the Shakespeare adaptation Titus. On the whole you won't be scared stiff, but you may be entertained. Considering the state of mainstream movies today, and that I was almost driven to the exits by the preceding trailers, that's not a bad thing at all.