What did you think of "Hannibal"?

Had the day off from work today, so I went to see the early showing of “Hannibal”. I think I’m one of the few people who enjoyed the book, so I had some hopes up for the film.

Although I did enjoy it, I think I agree with Newsweek’s review in that it was shot beautifully, but lacked some excitement.

The high point for me was probably Gary Oldman as Mason Verger. Different than I had imagined, but interesting.

What do the rest of you think?

Anniz and I saw it tonight, and both give it thumbs up.


I thought it was …well, not very good. I am a huge Silence of the Lambs fan and was horribly disappointed.

First, the character Mason Verger. It was over the top. The premise that a filthy rich deformed man was out to catch and torture Hannibal was …almost a cliche. I was disappointed in how over the top this part was.

Second, while I do think that Moore (I think that is the correct spelling of her last name), did a decent job as Starling, I think her character was…essentially different than Foster’s. She became too much the cliche of honorable white trash [sic].

When Hannibal lifts the cleaver to rid himself of the handcuffs, I thought it was fairly predictable that he would cut off his own hand. Then, as Starling goes to see if he is in the boat and is asked to put up her hands, there is no handcuff swinging from it. Did she bother to then unlock the cuff and remove it? That seems far fetched. More likely she would have dashed out to follow him.

When Verger meets up with Hannibal and says, “Dinner at 8,” I found myself thinking of James Bond movies where the bad guy, upon catching Bond, does not kill him instantly, but instead hatches an elaborate plan to get revenge - which, of course, backfires. Did I mention that I found Verger’s accent annoying as hell?

I really like Anthony Hopkins and was looking forward to the film but was very, very disappointed in how it went to great lengths to let us know just how violent he was by being more graphic than intelligent.


The lady and I saw it last night.

Overall, we both liked it.

There were a few places where I saw some minor inconsistencies with the plot. The scene that Tib mentioned above with the handcuff-less Moore running outside. It does seem odd that in the heat of the moment she would bother to take them off. Also, another (nitpicky )thing that I noticed was that when Clarice went to the orderly’s apartment (the guy who broke Lechter’s arm) – When the walk in, you see the fan spinning in the window. After they sit and talk for a bit, he gets up to turn the now motionless fan on. I also thought it was pretty predictable that he would cut his own hand off. And I didn’t like how he planted the big kiss on her at the end. It seemed to cheapen the dynamics of their relationship that two movies had pretty cleverly established.

But, none of those things were enough to detract from the rest of it. This one was more gory than the last, but I think it was done well enough that it didn’t come off as cheap shock value. I disagree with Tib with the point that “it went to great lengths to let us know just how violent he was by being more graphic than intelligent.” I though it was a good mix of the two. As mentioned, the cinematography was pretty damn good.

It was pretty much what I expected, all up until the point where Oldman’s character was killed. I think they could have easily wrapped things up at this point. The rest of the movie was just…I don’t want to say surreal, but that’s all that’s coming to mind. The whole dinner table scene with the lobotomized guy (don’t remember his char. name) and the doped-up Clarice – just very creepy.

One guy in the theatre got up (when Lechter was slicing away pieces of the guy’s brain and feeding it to him) and promptly fell flat on his face. I don’t know if was too much for him to handle and he passed out, or if he was just tanked. Either way, it didn’t help with the whole creepy mood that the entire ending scene had established.

Uh oh. I think I’m gonna be in trouble Monday morning. Everything I’d read about the movie claimed that the end of the movie was substantially different from the end of the book. So at work Friday when a group of us were discussing the movie, I brought up the eating brains scene from the book (with my impression that I found it a bit too “out there” and was glad it was supposedly out of the movie).

Hope people aren’t TOO angry with me when I get in Monday! :wink:

I hated the book, so I wasn’t expecting much from the film. But I did like it. Much better than the book. I thought Juliane Moore was a miscast, and Ray Liotta was too young for his role, and I really didn’t buy the ‘disgracing’ of Starling. (the book was more realistic, by not by much) She would not have been reprimanded for what she did in the film, which was presented as a very clear-cut choice on her part.

Ray Liotta might look young, but he’s 45 years old.

I’ve heard about a lot of differences between the book and the movie, but I haven’t read the book yet, so I can’t say for sure. But, here’s a few things that Mr. Cranky says are different: Mason Verger’s lesbian bodybuilder sister isn’t in the movie, nor is the scene where Lecter suckles from Starling’s breast, nor the ending where Lecter and Starling run away together. He also says that the book has Lecter getting heavy plastic surgery so that he can’t be recognized; not so with the movie.

One last note: fans of films where Anthony Hopkins whacks his own hand off with a meat cleaver should also check out Titus. The two scenes are amazingly similar. Perhaps that’ll become his trademark as an actor…

Here is the email I sent to my brother regarding the movie:

As a last aside, you Preacher comic fans should take note that Mason Verger is what Arseface would look like in real life.

I really, really, really disliked Hannibal. A few friends and I got together and watched Silence of the Lambs (gotta love Criterion DVD), and then went straight to the theatre for the sequel.

I’m not going to go into detail here, but in my opinion, Hannibal is a violation of virtually everything that was established in the first movie. My full review will be up on my website (see signature below) sometime tomorrow morning; it’ll discuss my thumbs-down in more detail.

I’m not going to go into detail here, but in my opinion, Silence of the Lambs is a violation of virtually everything that was established in the first movie.

– Devil’s advocate, fan of Manhunter


I happen to like the film. Not as good as Silence of the Lambs, but still good in it’s own way. The only really disapointing part of the movie was Mason’s death. It didn’t have that…oomph…like I thought it would. I think they should have shown Mason being a tad bit more tyrannical to his assistant so that there was a huge reason to cheer when the assistant tipped Mason to the boars. Other than that, the only bad part of the movie was the previews before it, so I give [[ib]Hannibal* two thumbs up. Also, I agree that Mason’s face was…interesting. And I was probably the only one in the theater who jumped clear out of their seat when Lecter lunged at the nurse to rip out her tounge in the videotape.

Fair 'nuff. :slight_smile:

I didn’t like it. I think they tried too hard to make Hannibal appear really crazy. The thing that made him so scary in the first movie was how he was very calm even when he was killing.

For instance, the hospital doctor told Starling that when Hannibal attacked the nurse, Hannibal’s pulse never got above 85. And, remember after he attacked the two policemen, he was calmly keeping time with the classical music he was listening to. In Hannibal, when Starling was looking at the videotape of the nurse attack, Hannibal looked like he was practically foaming at the mouth. That seemed inconsistent with what she was told in the first movie.

Also, Starling tells Hannibal in Silence of the Lambs that her father was the town Marshall. In Hannibal, he calls her father a night watchman. There were several other little inconsistencies that made the movie less enjoyable.

I won’t even go into the death scenes. I think Silence of the Lambs was better/scarier because they never actually showed any of the violence. You saw Hannibal’s face as he beat the policeman or you saw the bloody body but you never actually saw him kill anyone. That was scarier. There wasn’t one thing that frightened me in this movie.

I think I like the book ending. I missed Jack Crawford, and I thought that Will Graham would have figured prominently in the book; he was the guy who caught him. Any sequels are screwed from the different endings.
I wonder why Harris seemed to change his opinion of the FBI in this book.

I think he was taunting her with that remark, actually. The one continuity error that really bugged me was that Starling says Lecter killed Benjamin Raspail to improve the sound of the orchestra. Er . . . Lambs makes clear that Lecter didn’t kill Raspail; he “tucked him away, just as [he] found him after he’d missed three appointments.” Jame Gumb killed Raspail.

Montfort, I disagree with you that Lambs violated what was established in Manhunter (or even in the novel), and I’d love to discuss it more. Would you be interested in starting a thread?

As for me, I was completely indifferent to the movie, and I thought the book was terrible. When reading it, I couldn’t tell if Harris really believed in and was invested in what he was writing, or was looking for a way to purge himself of these characters. The book was full of contemptible characters who grew more contemptible on every single page, with the exception of Jack Crawford who, sensing the atrocious ending, allows himself to die of a heart attack.

The novel, and the movie moreso, suffers from a serious structural deficit. Part of the thematic strength of Lambs was the danger to Starling – body and soul – especially after Lecter escapes. Not until he makes his call to her at the end do you realize the scope of the relationship between them.

In Hannibal, Lecter and Starling are separated for the bulk of the story. He is not confined to a cell, so we need a character with whom we can place ourselves and who will be in that kind of danger. So Hannibal gives us Pazzi. Except he’s a scumbag. He is willing to sell out his police career to eliver Lecter to verger for the reward money. He gets a pickpocket killed trying to obtain a print. He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, so in that little battle, I guess we’re supposed to root for Lecter. But we aren’t supposed to root for Lecter, dammit! Harris doesn’t even have the courage to make him a real, genuine antihero, except to the extent that he “prefers to eat the rude.” He simply becomes increasingly sadistic and unlikeable when we’re allowed to watch him at work outside the confines of his cell.

Starling has to remain the moral center of the story, and when she’s separated from Lecter, she can’t be. We want Lecter to escape Verger not because Lecter is the good guy, but because we’re told Verger is the bad guy (and the movie, frankly, really soft-pedals his pedophilia). Krendler is actually much as he’s drawn in the book, but he’s pretty pedestrian, as villains go. He messes with Starling’s career–the horror! Even Barney the orderly is willing to do business with Verger and is selling off Lecter’s stuff–and the movie even removes the context in which that happens, because it removed the character of Mason’s sister.

All in all, this project was doomed to be mediocre, and it is. There are some handsome enough set pieces, and the acting is good, but the movie itself is simply run-of-the-mill even on its own terms.

Plan on seeing it tomorrow. I had to break in & mention that in the 3 weeks since shaving my goatee, 4-5 strangers have told me I look like a young Ray Liotta. (rubs clean-shaven chin)…hmmmm is that a good thing? :confused:

Actually, I was being a bit facetious toward Cervaise by restating his comment.

I feel, though, that each of the films in the Lecter Series are independent of each other. It almost reminds me of the Alien saga, with different directors in the chair each time (yes, I know the central character is played by the same actress in each of those films. That’s why I said “almost reminds me”). Manhunter, Silence, and now Hannibal are each episodes in a series about Hannibal Lecter, serial killer extraordinaire.

I don’t know if this warrants a separate thread, but let me know if you wish to continue discussing it.

I pretty much agree with the other posters. I liked SotL better. But the lobotomy scene was sweet. A question though: Were the audience supposed to be shocked when Hannibal took off the top of the guy’s head? Given the tools and the cop’s behaviour, it was no surprise.

Well, I’m pretty much opposite than everybody in this thread.

I hate Silence of the Lambs, I thought it was horrible. I couldn’t fathom why it was so popular. I kinda regret the time and money I invested in it. (2.00 for rental and 2 hrs of my life.)

However, I loved Hannibal. I just got back from the theatre, and I loved the movie. I thought everybody in the movie did an excellent job. The only part I didn’t like was the “disgrace”. Other than that, I was captivated by it. And Gary Oldman! Wow!

I sure hope not. Within 10 seconds of his droning and the look in his eyes (not to mention he’s still wearing his bicycle cap) GF and I look at each other and said “lobotomy” in unison. I just didnt think they’d get that graphic.