Hannibal Lecter: Not so hot?

I rather wonder about whether or not Hannibal Lecter is/was such the hot deal genius that he was made out to be. Let’s be real: he already knew Buffalo Bill, so there was no big mystery there. He tips off Clarice that victim 1 knew the guy, but I think that’s a sine qua non in any criminal investigation. Clarice tricks him with her offer to have him moved. In Hannibal, he is surrounded by kidnappers that stink of pigs, and the one guy that is tracking him with a vengeance is a millionaire pig farmer, more or less. In Red Dragon, he does alright with the video thing, but that isn’t extraordinary, even though it is good, and we never see anything related to the killer’s being naked under the moon, as he tips of Jack Graham.
So, he’s not the genius he’s made out to be.
That’s what I say.


Well, he’s still smarter than the rest of the people around him, who appear to have had their brains already half-eaten.

Hannibal Lecter is a genius in the world of Hannibal Lecter (which may well be the same as Idiocracy).

I agree that there’s a lot more telling us he’s a genius than showing us that he is. Still, convincing people that you’re smarter than you are takes smarts, right? And regardless of how intelligent Lecter is or isn’t, it’s still a damned effective movie.

I got the impression that Lecter went along with Starling’s offer of a move, as it would give him an unmissable opportunity to escape, drink fine wines, eat people’s faces, etc.

Lecter’s intellectual abilities are more prominent and more explicit in the books than the movies. The help he gives to Starling was really not supposed to be a demonstration of the character’s intellect, just a means of manipulation for other purposes.

There are a number of ways in the books that Lecter’s genius is demonstrated in offhand ways. In Hannibal, there was also his ability to read Medieval Italian manuscripts at a PhD level in order to fake his way into a job. He also has an advanced understanding of theoretical physics and is working on his own GUT, but this is a point where his intellect is describe in the book as reaching it’s limits, and showing signs of incoherence and disorder. In the books, it’s more clear not only that he’s a genius, but also that he actually is mentally ill.

That’s when I turned off the movie. After setting this guy up as Einstein-Hitler the Cannibal and the most feared man alive, then they transport him under all this heavy guard then leave him in a half-assed mesh box in a gymnasium guarding by 2 bumbling idiots. Completely unbelievable and ruined then entire movie for me.