The antithesis of The Silence of the Lambs in nearly every way, Hannibal eschews Jonathan Demme's tasteful restraint and power of suggestion in favor of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get mentality, eliminating the prospect of suspense or any investment in its characters. Anthony Hopkins reprises his Oscar-winning role with assurance, but the shady mystery of Hannibal Lecter seems to be missing, and his rapport with Julianne Moore (filling in for Jodie Foster) lacks the requisite tension. The film is entertaining without ever being convincing or noteworthy, and seems to go out of its way to distance itself from its predecessor -- which is detrimental here, as Hannibal employs almost none of that far superior film's strengths. The film is further undermined by director Ridley Scott's dull, poker-faced approach: the movie has elements of camp upon which another director may have seized (including Gary Oldman's entire performance), but here these moments play too seriously to be appreciated on that level. Oldman, oddly enough, does not receive any billing on the final film, reportedly agreed upon since his name doesn't appear alongside the film's leads despite his large role. Moore won the coveted lead female role after Jodie Foster turned it down, citing how different her character seemed from the Starling of Thomas Harris' previous effort.
by Jason Clark review