No one is hungry for ‘Hannibal’

By on February 22, 2001

Way to go Jodie Foster. The award-winning actress turned down the role of Clarice Starling in the recent sequel to her hit “The Silence of the Lambs.”
The follow up, “Hannibal,” doesn’t even come close to the rank of its predecessor, and Jodie definitely made the right choice. This time, Julianne Moore takes a crack at the part. Although she attempts to copy Foster’s mannerisms and accent, there is just no comparison.
Set seven years after our last encounter with psychopath/psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lechter, the movie picks up where “Silence of the Lambs” left off. Sir Anthony Hopkins is back as Hannibal living in Florence, Italy, posing as a museum curator still wanted by the FBI.
But there is someone that takes an even more active effort in finding Hannibal. Mason Verger, played by Gary Oldman, is Lechter’s only living victim. Verger is a millionaire living as a recluse. His disfigured face stems from his last encounter with Dr. Lechter.
However, from the flashback one sees that Verger truly has himself to blame for the face that looks like something chewed him up. In a ghoulish scene Verger tears his own face up and feeds it to dogs.
Throughout the movie, Verger’s hunting for Hannibal seemed ridiculous and comical. He looks and acts like a villain out of a cartoon, yet there is no heroin that can save this movie.
Starling acts as victim to her chauvinist boss, played by Ray Liotta. The actor known for his fabulous depiction of a “Goodfella”, was just the opposite in “Hannibal.” He acts as the typical sexist pig boss. Had I not seen his past films, I might have thought he was a horrible actor. Why such a good actor would even try to work with this script is beyond me.
Eventually, the crazy ex-victim of Hannibal Lechter tracks him down. In an effort to make him suffer, he decides to feed him to warthogs. The giant beasts are unsuccessful. Starling returns to save her old buddy. Hannibal and Starling end up saving each other and once again the cannibal escapes. Do I smell another bad sequel?
This movie was the most repugnant trash I have ever seen. Perhaps one of the reasons that I found it so awful was because the first movie was so well done. Instead of an intellectual thriller, I sat through a content lacking blood-fest.
This movie hits an all-time low in its final scene, in which Hannibal Lechtor takes some of Emeril Lagasse’s cooking tips and slices and dices some new ingredients. “The Silence of the Lambs” was an Oscar winning piece and “Hannibal” will be lucky if it can conjure up an MTV award, and that doesn’t say much.


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