Hannibal: A Maddening Romance

Hannibal is a crime thriller film directed Ridley Scott. The plot follows Hannibal Lecture (Anthony Hopkins), as he lives as a freeman in exile, keeping close tabs on special agent Clarise Starling (Julianne Moore), who has fallen on hard times and become disgraced. As forces rise to bring the two back together again, Lecture’s thirst for blood leads him to come back out of retirement.

Firstly, if you expect me to believe Hollywood that Jodie Foster aged into Julianne Moore then you expect too much. If they had created a new character it would work better, but clearly, they wanted to carry on the Lecture/Starling relationship from the first film; and Foster wasn’t game. That I can understand, as the relationship between the two is the key piece of these films.

Moore for the most part is terrific, I prefer Foster’s performance, but Moore is giving it her all here. She has great chemistry with Anthony Hopkins and has almost a sexual tension with him whenever the two of them are on screen together; adding another twisted angle to their dynamic.

On the casting front, I feel Gary Oldman was wasted as Lecture’s only surviving victim Mason Verger. He brings a presence, but he does very little and has very little screen time. I understand why from a plot perspective his character is needed, but in every other aspect he feels unnecessary, as he fades into the background with Moore and Hopkins taking centre stage. The same can be said of Ray Liotta.

Overall, this is still a mostly good film, it has a few issues that are more noticeable when compared to the near excellent first film, however few films could live up to that. A slightly disappointing sequel, that suffers for the lack of Foster.

Pros.

Anthony Hopkins is still great.

The Clarice/ Lecture relationship is fantastic.

This feels like an ending.

It feels like a natural sequel.

Cons.

Oldman and Liotta are wasted and feel unnecessary.

4/5

Reviewed by Luke

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