Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Ray Liotta, Gary
Anthony Hopkins reprises his role from Silence of the
Lambs in this sequel in which the serial killed is being
hunted down not only by FBI agent Clarice Starling (Moore),
but by associates of the rich Mason Verger (Oldman), a victim
of Lecter's. After a bust under her command goes bad, Starling
is placed back on the case of the missing Hannibal, and meets
Verger, who gives her the details of his own violent meeting
with the cannibal doctor. From that point, the story switches
between Starling's own diligent following of Lecter's trail
and Italian lawman (Giancarlo Giannini) Pazzi's run-in with
As with everything else Ridley Scott does, Hannibal is
filmed wonderfully. The scenery is lush and the shots are
panned slow, but deliberately. In certain parts, the film
takes on a jagged sense of visuals, giving the flashbacks
a harshness to them.
Each of the roles are played exceptionally well. Hopkins
is brilliant as the deliberate, yet menacingly intelligent
Hannibal. He shows off a conservative brilliance that's shockingly
interrupted in those rare moments when he seems to be caught
in the rapture of his violence. Moore is a fine replacement
for Jodie Foster (who chose not to reprise her role) as the
driven Starling. Her conflict with her higher ups ads an extra
depth to the tale, even if it falls into the standard Agent
Vs. Establishment cliché. There are a few traditional
roles - Ray Liotta plays the rather generics chauvinistic
pig boss, who's trying to keep Starling back.
The strength of the story lies in that the movie doesn't
automatically fall into the expected "Starling chases
Hannibal" plotline. With the inclusion of Verger's and
Pazzi's interference into the investigation, events turn out
a bit different than one might expect. Unfortunately, though,
there never really seems to be a true conflict in the film.
You always seem to know who's going to die and when, and there's
never a time where you feel that Hannibal would dare harm
While there are times where the movie can be quite gruesome,
for the most part, it comes across as a slowly paced, deliberate
tale that manages to successfully further the story along.
Character interaction is nicely done and the script is well
polished. If you enjoyed Silence of the Lambs, you
should check Hannibal out.