Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta, Frankie Faison, Giancarlo Giannini
More info: IMDb
Tagline: Break The Silence
Plot: After having successfully eluded the authorities for years, Hannibal peacefully lives in Italy in disguise as an art scholar. Trouble strikes again when he is discovered leaving a deserving few dead in the process. He returns back to America to once again make contact with now disgraced Agent Clarice Starling who is suffering the wrath of a malicious FBI official/rival as well as the media. Meanwhile, Hannibal must survive the advances by a disfigured and vengeful victim he first came in contact with years ago as a patient. He finds himself being tracked down not only by his wealthy victim and his henchmen but also by Agent Starling and the American authorities.
My rating: 8/10
Will I watch it again? Yes.
I'd seen SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) many times by HANNIBAL's opening night. SILENCE grabbed me and became one of my all time favorites overnight. I had read the Thomas Harris books, Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, and I was a Hannibal Lecter, serial killer loving mofo. I snatched up Harris' sequel, Hannibal, on opening day and was promptly let down. I LOVED the parts that involved the Italian detective and the Florence scenes but everything else was ridiculous - especially the ending. That was downright offensive. Naturally I had to be there opening night in the theaters for this picture. Like the book, I pretty much hated it. Scott didn't deviate much from the book except for the ending which was the only thing that took me by surprise and it was the one thing I liked.
I'll spare all of the shit that bugged the piss out of me then. Now it's ten years later and I just watched it for the second time. I love it. I know, right? My opinion has changed a whole 180 degrees. Maybe it took time to distance myself from the novel and film. Beats the shit out of me. All I know is all my bitch points a decade ago are now unfounded. I disagree completely how I felt then and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the hell out of this film. Ridley Scott knows how to put together a good looking film. Oh, and the things I liked about the book, everything in Florence? I love them even more so in the film. I think I want to live there.
Hans Zimmer's score is quite good and I love Patrick Cassidy's contribution of the opera aria. It's gorgeous and really adds elegance to the entire film whenever it's used. I remember people bitching about Moore replacing Foster. I thought Moore did a wonderful job a decade ago (one of the few things I didn't complain about then) and I still hold that opinion today. I can't think of a better actor to replace Foster. Ray Liotta plays a great asshole (who knew?). I've always liked him, by the way. I wish he'd do more. The performances all around are strong and my opinion regarding Hopkins' job has changed from seeing him phoning it in to now noticing the little things that make him such a delightful actor to watch. I would love to see him at work, going through the scenes seeing what he does from take to take.
I was wrong to hate this picture ten years ago. I see that now. I'm sorry and I'm ashamed. Now it's got me wondering what else have I hated that might need another chance.