Hanniballathon: Hannibal (2001) – movie review

10 years after the original came out, Hannibal Lecter is back to the big screen in “Hannibal”. It starts off with Clarice (this time played by Juliane Moore) taking part in a drug raid where things go south. She takes the blame and gets disgraced in the bureau and on the news because of it.

This gets the attention of the dark and twisted Mason Verger (played by Gary Oldman) who is the only surviving victim of Dr. Lecter who was left crippled and disgustingly disabled by Lecter. Now he seeks his revenge with the aid of his wealth and influence. And the attention of the doctor himself who ends up sending Clarice a letter that she has analyzed and determines that one of the possible locations of its origins could be Rome.

She contacts the local police there asking for help however another officer there is also on his trail. Only he wants to capture him and get the reward that Mason Verger is offering. He manages to find him pretending to be “Dr. Fell”. Will Clarice get to him before Verger or will Dr. Lecter escape again?

This movie had huge shoes to fill. And how did it hold up? At first glance, it seems fairly similar to the original with the subject matters that it tackles as well as the characters and settings. But from the very start of the movie, you begin to notice that there is something that is off about the movie. And no it is not the replacement of Jodie Foster even though I feel like she would have done a better job than Moore she still did a good job. The movie just lacked the style and substance that the original had.

Everything in the movie just felt like it was trying too hard to convey its message. On top of that everything seemed to be chopped up and was full of dull and uninteresting subplots that had nothing to add to the overall story. The scariest part of the original was the realistic aspect of it, but in the sequel, everything was over the top and done poorly. There was so much introduced yet not explored enough that the viewer hardly cares about anything in it. And even though I would not classify the movie as “horrible” it still entertained me it still had very little redeeming qualities. Mainly the cast.

There were only a few scenes that were memorable. One was even so memorable that I remember it from when I first saw the movie many years ago. A scene that involves the murder of a victim who is then thrown out of a balcony. And of course the most talked-about scene in the movie – the brain scene. But that is not enough to carry a movie.

Director Ridley Scott was riding on the fame of his previous movie Gladiator and people were expecting him to knock this out of the park too. But it ended up being the complete opposite. It was disappointing to see the terrifying creature that was Hannibal Lecter in the original was reduced to just a fraction of what he was. Just like his relationship with Clarice. The only interesting character in the movie was Verger and we saw very little from him.

Final verdict: 6.5/10

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