22 February 2002
When I sit down to watch a movie I take away all kind of expectation. Everything. I make my head blank. Sometimes that’s not so good, since I miss if the leading character would suddenly get killed to bring chock to the movie. Since I then go ”Well, I’m prepared for anything, I don’t really have any expectations on this movie”. This, of course, also goes with sequels that ”has to live up to the old films”.
First of all, that is a bad thing to say. A sequel, in my opinion, does best when it stays, maybe not far away, but at least on a bit of a distance, so that it don’t repeat itself. So, seeing it out of that perspective, ”Hannibal” is a fine sequel. It doesn’t repeat itself, which would be having Clarice Starling searching another killer with Lecter as a guide. Instead the movie rather brilliantly focuses on Hannibal Lecter, giving it a touch of his class (not the original movie’s ”dirtyness”) and way of life – giving an amount of distance to the fist film. However it doesn’t ignore it, Barney the nurse (or whatever he is) and the tapes with the conversations keeps us in mind that this is a sequel. That is how a really good sequel is made. So it’s a great sequel. But it’s a not-so-great movie.
I think Ridley Scott is misplaced. Or, honestly, I wouldn’t have thought so, but since I’ve seen the movie now I say this. When I first heard of this film, I figured Scott to be a great director to make this sequel. But I guess he didn’t like doing the movie, because its really empty.
The acting is the best thing about the movie. Moore is OK as Starling, since this movie is so different from the original you never really miss Foster, Hopkins is great as usual – but Lecter has gone sick! His freedom must have given him a touch of the classic lack-of-ideas-psychopath-syndrome. The rather imaginative Dr.Lecter has started to, dull enough, killing people instead of eating them (he never takes a bite in this movie) and he has started to give jokes as never before. His humor is replaced by very Hollywood-ish jokes, to be honest; this ain’t the same Lecter.
I was almost fooled by ”Hannibal”, because it looks really classy and non-hollywood-ish but I started thinking. I sat down and saw the movie again, and found my suspicions were true. It looks classy, it does, and it also looks like it has a great mix of gore and intellect, but it’s just empty. When it’s not a repellent fascination of hypergore, it’s long and boring, and the same goes for the dialogues.
I’d really like to think ”Hannibal” as a great film, but it is still just an empty movie, disguised in a classy shell and some good performances.
This review dates back to the 22 February of the year 2002. It would make me fifteen and I’d like to think I wrote it earlier, given the grammatical differences and the simplistic expressions, but I don’t know. It’s cute anyway, I post it because of nostalgic reasons and because I still agree with it.