Anthony Hopkins in Hannibal.
Let me say right up front that I didn't see the end of this movie. I walked out during the infamous brain eating scene. Not because it was too gory. I can take gore. But rather, because while the rest of the audience was gasping in horror and amazement at this gruesome scene, I was simply reminded of the old Star Trek episode where they stole Spock's brain. It wasn't scary or gross, but just plain ridiculous. I realized that not only didn't I care about any of the characters but I could really care less how the whole thing turned out at all. So I walked. One of maybe five times I have done such a thing in my entire life.
It also occurred to me, while watching this movie, that I never cared for Silence of the Lambs all that much either. How it ever won all those awards is beyond me. It was, by comparison with its sequel, though, a true masterpiece. It had suspense, thrills, and two central characters that you liked or were at least interested in. It also used the Hannibal Lecter character sparingly, thus creating tension and wonder. Not so here, his gore and madness runs rampant and, no pun intended, is complete overkill.
There are moments of a good movie buried amongst this over the top thriller. The scene where Hannibal smoothly stabs the pickpocket without missing a step is filmed well. But these moments are all too rare.
The sub-plot involving politics at the FBI and Clarice's career bored me to tears and Gary Oldman's disfigured performance makes you want to put a pillow over his face and end his life just so you won't have to look at him any longer.
Finally, no offense to Anthony Hopkins, but he is just getting too damn old to be threatening. A killer who looks like he needs a good dose of Geritol just to get going in the morning, doesn't make much of a threat, which would be fine if like the original, he used his greatest weapon, his intellect, instead of his mad slashing antics in this blighted excuse for a film.
I know a great number of people will disagree with this review, as evidenced by the box office receipts for this movie, but I can't honestly understand how anyone could enjoy this pathetic waste of celluloid and talent.
Photos © Copyright MGM (2001)