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Hannibal  (2001)

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Ray Liotta, Giancarlo Giannini, Gary Oldman, Frankie Faison
Director: Ridley Scott
U.S. Distribution: MGM / Universal
U.S. Release Date: 2/9/01
Running Time: 2:11
MPAA Rating: R

Almost ten years to the day, Hannibal the Cannibal is back in theatres!

Unfortunately, Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter is about the only holdover from The Silence of the Lambs. Academy Award-winning actress Jodie Foster, director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Ted Tally all chose to pass on Hannibal after reading Thomas Harris' novel, with Foster saying it was just "too grisly". (For that matter, didn't Anthony Hopkins once say he would "never" play Hannibal again because of the violence associated with the character?!)

Nevertheless Dino De Laurentiis paid a record $9 million for the film rights to Harris' book and with Hopkins on board, who cares about all the rest?

Sadly, director Ridley Scott's Hannibal also lacks nearly all of the suspense and substance of Demme's Silence. The pacing is slow, but it isn't all bad. Julianne Moore does an admirable job of filling FBI agent Clarice Starling's cheap shoes and almost made me forget about Foster. Ray Liotta and veteran Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini are also good in supporting roles. Then there is Gary Oldman whose freakish turn leaves one wondering, just what is the deal with him?

One of the main problems with this sequel is that Hopkins' Hannibal is much less captivating out of captivity. Perhaps the fact that the actor just turned 64 may have a little something to do with that or maybe it's just that the film and its heavily hyped and gruesome ending proves to be more nauseating than scary.

© 2001, Delton Perrodin

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