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Hannibal This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   They say the sequel never lives up to the original, andhow right they are. One would expect that the much-anticipated (for ten years!)follow-up to the horrific and chilling "Silence of the Lambs" would bea film destined for horror history. This is not the case for"Hannibal."

In this cinematic venture, Hannibal Lecter (AnthonyHopkins) is residing in Florence, Italy after escaping from a mental hospital.Posing as an art lecturer, he is taking a "vacation." FBI agent ClariceStarling (Julianne Moore), on the other hand, is fighting for her reputationafter she is put on probation by a backstabbing fellow agent (Ray Liotta) for acontroversial drug shoot-out.

When an Italian cop (Giancarlo Giannini)gets wind of who and what this so-called art lecturer is, he takes matters intohis own hands and gets dangerously involved. An unrecognizable Gary Oldman, inhorrific stage makeup, plays Lecter's arch-enemy and only surviving victim, whoplans a vicious revenge.

The ending is the only part of the film that isnot boring. But, after a slow start that continues to a slow middle, it's stillonly a mediocre end.

The two strong points of the film are the acting andcinematography. Julianne Moore, with a slight accent and no smile, does anexcellent job portraying the older, haunted Clarice Starling, but she is no JodieFoster. The film was in jeopardy when Foster refused the role, saying, "Iwon't play her with negative attributes she'd never have." In "Silenceof the Lambs," the FBI rookie is afraid of Lecter, but is also a strong,confident and heroic woman. Not so in "Hannibal."

AnthonyHopkins, of course, plays a riveting Hannibal Lecter, but he doesn't have much towork with. His character is child's play compared with the diabolical Lecter in"Silence." As sick as this sounds, I was disappointed that he didn'treally eat anybody. There were moments when I hated to sympathize with him yetstill felt drawn to him. As a cannibal, I suppose one needs a bit of charisma toget a decent meal.

The element that caught my eye was the exquisitecinematography. The mind-altering images drew me in. The entire film has a gloomyforeground with eerie white back lighting, making some scenes creepy pieces ofart, as beautiful as they are unsettling.

The score also plays a role inmaking this film so dark. Ehereal strains of opera resound, giving it amelancholy texture.

"Hannibal" has its high points, but the plotdoes not even begin to live up to its predecessor, arguably one of the greatestfilms ever made. Director Ridley Scott seemed to pay too much attention to visualdetail rather than an involving plot, something "Silence of the Lambs"director Jonathan Demme made sure was the focal point. The film has no earlymomentum, killing any suspense. It lacks the intense and intellectual mysteryevoked by its earlier counterpart.



This movie is rated R. Allthose under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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