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Hannibal (2001)

How long can a man stay silent before he returns to the thing he does best?

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 126 minutes

UK Certificate: 18


Sir Anthony Hopkins stars once more as the brilliant and stylish but dangerous serial killer Dr Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in this final episode of the three-part story. Having escaped his incarceration at the end of “The Silence of the Lambs”, he goes into hiding and settles incognito in Florence where he works as a curator at the Palazzo Vecchio. Confident in his situation, he even writes to his old adversary, FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore), and it is clear that his obsession for her has never quite left him.

Back in America, a surviving victim of Lecter's is plotting his revenge – Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) is disfigured and seriously disabled following his encounter with Dr Lecter, which has left him twisted with bitterness and hate. He is wealthy and powerful, and subverts Justice Department official Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) to help him by promising him rewards to come. They know that Starling is Lecter's weakness, and plan to use her to lure him out. Together they put a plan in action using Starling as bait, and begin preparations for providing Lecter with a horrible death. Starling will need to deal with the risk posed by Lecter, while also trying to save him from Verger.

This is the weakest of the films in the trilogy in terms of plot and characterisation. The film largely ignores the need to build suspense – one of the things which make the other two stand out – instead opting for some extreme violence and action. While the other two do not really qualify as slasher movies, this one does, which will put off some audiences. Anthony Hopkins retains his menace in the title role, however the script really does not allow him to develop the character of Lecter to any great degree. Julianne Moore takes over from Jody Foster as Starling, and while it would be impossible for her to duplicate Foster's Oscar-winning performance, she does at least not try to imitate Foster to any great degree. Instead she opts to approach the character of Starling in her own way, avoiding the mistake of turning her into a caricature. The film's outstanding features are its production values and cinematography – beautiful camera work, great music and some atmospheric locations improve the film significantly.

Based on the best-selling novel by Thomas Harris.

It's Got: Great cinematography, locations and music.

It Needs: To prioritise the suspense over the violence.

DVD Extras Plenty of extras are included with this two-disc DVD release. Extras: Director’s commentary, Alternate ending, Deleted and alternate scenes, Five featurettes on the making of, Multi-angle featurette, Multi-angle action scene, Multi-angle opening titles, Production stills, Poster concepts, Trailers, TV spots. DVD Extras Rating: 7/10


This is not a bad film, indeed it is well above average, but it fails to reach the heights of the other two in the series. Still well worth watching.