Capsule Review: "Hannibal"

by Eric Melin on February 9, 2001

in Print Reviews

First off, this is where I’m coming from on this one. I’ve read all 3 books in Thomas Harris’ series and loved them all. Yes, even “Hannibal.” And I own the first two film adaptions, “Manhunter” and “The Silence of the Lambs” on DVD. OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s dispense with the opinions.

“Hannibal” is grotesque, beautiful, quirky, hilarious, unsettling, and a truly delightfully subversive piece of filmmaking. I realize it may not be for everybody, but I think it’s an original and refreshing little romp. What’s more subversive than taking two American icons of film, Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling, and putting them where nobody wants them to go?

Without revealing too much of the plot, let’s just say that Gary Oldman is a hoot as Lecter’s only surviving victim, a terribly disfigured wheelchair-bound millionaire, and so is Anthony Hopkins as Lecter. This is a funny, funny movie. I could be in the minority here, though. During the climax of the film as Ray Liotta sits down to dinner with said icons, I was one of very few people laughing in an eager, sold out crowd on opening day. Maybe if you know what to expect you’ll like it better than the fans looking for “Silence” Part Two. You have been warned. It’s gory. …..and funny!

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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