- 2 hr 11 min
In 2001, director Ridley Scott brought to life the highly anticipated follow-up to the critically acclaimed thriller, The Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal, based on Thomas Harris' novel of the same name, reunites beloved character Dr. Hannibal Lecter with FBI agent Clarice Starling in a riveting, suspenseful tale of obsession, revenge, and the macabre.
Set ten years after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal takes place in Florence, Italy, where Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) has been living under a new identity as a respected art scholar. Meanwhile, back in the United States, Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) is now a senior FBI agent who has been disgraced by her department for botching a drug raid. When a new serial killer named Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) emerges on the scene, Clarice is tasked with capturing him, as Verger happens to be a former victim of Dr. Lecter who has been left severely disfigured and vengeful.
As the two storylines converge, the audience is treated to a twisted game of cat and mouse between Clarice and Dr. Lecter. The former must navigate Verger's sadistic traps and violent tendencies, while the latter is always one step ahead, manipulating the events from afar. Along the way, the two old acquaintances engage in psychological warfare, with Dr. Lecter toying with Clarice's vulnerabilities and pushing her to confront her inner demons.
Hopkins' portrayal of Dr. Lecter is as chilling and captivating as ever, with the character's signature blend of intellect, wry humor, and primal savagery fully on display. Moore, while not quite matching up to Jodie Foster's iconic performance as Clarice Starling, manages to hold her own and bring a grittier, less naive edge to the character. Oldman is almost unrecognizable under the heavy prosthetics of Mason Verger, but manages to give a disturbing and haunting performance nonetheless.
Scott's direction is masterful, with lush cinematography and haunting score creating an eerie atmosphere that perfectly complements the film's gruesome subject matter. The violence and gore in Hannibal is graphic and unapologetic, making for a deeply unsettling viewing experience that is not for the faint of heart. True to Thomas Harris' source material, Scott does not shy away from depicting the twisted psychology and grotesque acts of the film's characters, leading to a conclusion that is both satisfying and unsettling.
While some may argue that Hannibal does not quite measure up to The Silence of the Lambs in terms of its suspense and pacing, the film is nonetheless an excellent thriller in its own right. The dynamic between Hopkins and Moore is fascinating to watch, and the addition of Oldman's monstrous Verger adds a new layer of horror to the already twisted story. Fans of the original novel or the film series as a whole will find plenty to enjoy in Hannibal's dark, twisted world of psychological manipulation and primal violence.
Overall, Hannibal stands as a worthy successor to The Silence of the Lambs, with Anthony Hopkins' iconic turn as Dr. Hannibal Lecter and Ridley Scott's masterful direction cementing the film's status as a classic of the thriller genre.
Hannibal is a 2001 crime movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 11 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 57.