Tag line : His Genius, Undeniable. His Evil, Unspeakable. His Name...

Hannibal10 years after "Silence of the Lambs" and they FINALLY got round to making a sequel. Dr Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is still at large and Agent Clarice Starling (played this time by Julianne Moore) is still trying to track him down.

Having adopted a new identity, he has spent his time on the run in Italy, where he's become the curator of a large art gallery (not exactly laying low is it?). But when his identity is discovered by a disgraced local cop, inspector Pazzi, rather than alerting Interpol, he tips off his whereabouts to a former victim of Lecter's, Mason Verger (played by Gary Oldman, though you'd never recognise him).  A wealthy business man who Lecter drugged up and suggested cutting off his face (which he did) years earlier.

Verger has been offering a substantial cash reward for anyone who can help him get Lecter before the authorities, as he has his own special brand of revenge he wishes to exact on him. Fleeing to the states, Agent Starling finds herself in a race to apprehend Lecter before Verger's hired hitmen can get their hands on him.

Directed by Ridley Scott, overall this is, in my view, a worthy sequel to "Silence of the Lambs", though somewhat different in style, with the focus this time being Hannibal trying to stay one step ahead of both the authorities and Mason Verger. It was good to see Anthony Hopkins back in the role of Dr Lecter, though it was a pity Jody Foster didn't wish to reprise her role for this. But I felt Julianne Moore did the role justice. Ray Liotta also turns up as a corrupt Justice Department official, who comes off more than worse for wear after helping Mason Verger try and capture Hannibal (but I won't spoil what happens).

If you enjoyed "Silence of the Lambs", you should also enjoy this. Though the only negative thing I will say, is that if you're in the Top 10 list of people most wanted by the FBI and Interpol and are trying to keep a low profile, why would you become the curator of one of Europe's largest art galleries????

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "The silence will be broken", "He's A Man After Your Heart", "How long can a man stay silent before he returns to the thing he does best?", "The world's most deliciously evil gentleman is back!".

  • The film's budget was $87,000,000.

  • Prior to the films UK release, the distributors released a teaser poster showing Dr Lecter wearing a skin mask on the right side of his face. However they were forced to quickly withdraw it as it was considered too shocking.

  • Christopher Reeve was originally offered the role of Mason Verger, but declined.

  • Ray Liotta's character Paul Krendler had also featured in "Silence of the Lambs", but was played in that film by Ron Vawter.

  • Gary Oldman was not originally listed in the credits for the films theatrical release. There are conflicting stories as to why this was, one being that he demanded his name removed after they refused to give him joint billing with Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore. The other being that they wanted to keep his identity a secret, to keep the audience guessing who it was. His name was added to the credits for the subsequent VHS and DVD releases though.

  • Jodie Foster was asked to reprise her role, but declined as she was unhappy with both the novel and the script, plus she was working on another film. The screenplay was apparently re-written 15 times in an attempt to please her and original director Jonathon Demme, who also ended up declining to work on the project for the same reasons.

  • Frankie Faison, who plays the Asylum orderley Nurse Barney in "Silence of the Lambs" reprises his role in this.

  • A subplot, where Hannibal gives clues to Inspector Pazzi about solving a case about a serial killer called Il Mostro was filmed, but ultimately not used. Though dialogue about the inspector being removed from the case was left in the film.

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