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Hannibal
USA 2001
Directed by Ridley Scott
Running time 131 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars


The generally negative critical response this film received on theatrical release was largely dependent on comparison with its highly impressive and unquestionably superior Oscar-winning predecessor, The Silence of The Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991).

Whilst Anthony Hopkins returned for his role as Hannibal the epicurean cannibal, Jodie Foster bowed out, giving way to Julianne Moore. In an attempt not to be outdone, everything has been thrown at the sequel with an A-list director, David Mamet and Steve Zaillan in the script department and expensive Italian locations. The result is a style-heavy thriller that tends to be locked into the constraints of its own high-end production. Whilst appreciation would be helped by familiarity with the Hopkins role in the earlier film (why else would you be watching this?) there is enough back story interpellated for it to make sense on its own. Be warned however, in its latter stages this gets very grisly. So much so, that one wonders why such industry luminaries would bother to spend so much time, effort and money making anything in such poor taste.

 

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