ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  ridley scott

RATED  -  r

GENRE  -  horror

LENGTH  -  159 minutes

RELEASED  -  9 february 2001

DISTRIBUTOR  -  universal pictures

OFFICIAL SITE  -  hannibal

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $87,000,000
hannibal - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from hannibal at

buy the dvd from hannibal at

hannibal returns to america and attempts to make contact with disgraced agent starling and survive a vengeful victim's plan.

gary oldman originally wanted to share star billing alongside anthony hopkins and julianne moore. when the producers denied him this, he declined to have any billing at all and, in the original theatrical release, remained uncredited at the film's opening and closing credits.


picture from hannibal

picture from hannibal

picture from hannibal


one out of four possible stars

Flawed from the start, this sequel to Silence of the Lambs doesn't even begin to do justice to the original. It just hums along, like one of those normal crappy sequels. And it just doesn't matter what the movie does, it just doesn't pay attention to what the first movie was about. In the first movie, certain things were established. These characters had certain beliefs and behavioral habits that made them who they were. The first movie was all about that. The psychology of the bad guys and good guys and how they might outwit one another.

In this second movie, all those rules are thrown out the window, in favor of bringing the whole caper into the "big budget sequel" territory. Now, this might not matter if the first movie had been a big budget thing. Or even it had looked like a big budget movie. Like Alien or Jurassic Park. The big budget follow-ups for those films were fine, because the originals were the same way, or at least appeared that way. But in Lambs, you had a very calculated story about the relationship between an incarcerated man and a newbie agent for the FBI. What followed was a test of wits and minds but with style. And brains.

That script and that story had brains. But even though the sequel was taken from a book by the same author that was written about the same people, it's like the personalities of the characters are completely different. And that is why it doesn't work. It begins with a gigantic shootout and ends with . . . well, i won't tell you how it ends, but suffice to say, the characters didn't have to think at all to get there. It's a standard, run of the mill chase movie and the only peculiar thing is that the bad guy eats people. Kind of an interesting twist, but it doesn't ring true for the characters. Hannibal would never go after Clarice. In the first movie, he respected her.

After two hours of prying her psyche apart, the Hannibal began to see Clarice as an equal and as somebody to be treated differently than the usual, run of the mill piece of steak. And that, right there, is why I couldn't "suspend my disbelief" long enough during this movie to believe any of it. hannibal's actions in Hannibal just don't ring true. Perhaps then there are those of you who would not agree with me. And perhaps I'm taking these character's sensibilities too seriously. After all, it's just a horror movie, right?

Wrong. The first movie won the Academy Award for best picture. It had just a few things more going for it than the usual slasher movie. And this second film just seems to run around with its head cut off. It has no brains. And that's why I liked the first one. And why everyone else liked the first one. But this one's title should have been scream 4. It's nothing but a slasher movie with Oscar nominated and winning actors in it. And to tell you the truth, the plot wasn't even that impressive. And I believe that the actors' acting suffers for it.

Without the semblance of an intelligent script, you can't have a smart movie. Even if you have smart actors. And really, both Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore are pretty good actors. They've both had outstanding performances in films before this one. It seems that Jodie Foster was perfectly right in declining this role. She must have seen how bad the script was and said no way. And for good reason. I must say though that Julianne did create a fairly good impression of Jodie's role. Of course, that's all it was. An impression. I can't really give her too many points for getting the accent right though. Because hell, she was born in North Carolina.

Perhaps it was all for the best that Jodie did not take this role. I have to say again that i respect her for that decision. But perhaps there's a reason this movie seems to have nothing in common with the original. It has a different director, a different lead star, and a different decade. It reminds me of the Tom Cruise Mission Impossible movies. Cruise has stated that each time they make one, he wants a different director and a different style to the movie. And it's very obvious that the first two movies in that series are made by completely different directors.

Though this movie has many mistakes, it does have one rather good concerns a person who did not get a lot of media exposure when this film was being marketed. And that's Gary Oldman. Never recognized for the genius he is, Oldman represents all that is good about this movie. Sure, Anthony Hopkins gives a loaded performance as a cannibal, but Gary Oldman is transformed by make-up for his role and turns out quite a character. As he usually does. Have you ever seen a bad gary oldman character? Of course not. I have to say, I didn't even realize it was Oldman when I first saw his character. But he was great.

Even in this movie that doesn't even make sense, he was great. So if you do see this movie, see it for his performance. It's quite whacked. As a final word though on a film that I don't think should have ever been made, I must say that the first film was genius. And the second doesn't have an IQ of about Forrest Gump's. So anyway, I really must suggest you wait until this film comes out on video. Sorry I have to make such a ruckus about it, but I adored the first movie and this follow-up just doesn't do it justice. Save your money for the nachos and skip this one.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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