Okay so this, as everyone should know, is the long awaited sequel to 1991's Silence of the Lambs, just before I start on Hannibal I must explain that for at least 3 years after Silence was released I never saw it, everyone had told me how gruesome and graphic it was. I must admit that when I did see it I was a little disappointed, the violence was not nearly as bad as I had imagined, it never is. That said though Silence of the Lambs is still an excellent film.
When going to see Hannibal I was a little wary of the gory factor, I admit the meer sign of a needle makes me go ewwwwww, but again my imagination was nasty than reality. It is not nearly as gory, graphic, violent etc as it could have been, in a 2 hour film there is only a couple of minutes here and there than show any kind of violence; this doesn't mean I wanted more, just that the rest of the film was fairly tame.
To be honest, Hannibal was only worth watching for its title character, Anthony Hopkins truely can play the cold blooded killer known so well to the audience. Throughout the first half of the film it is the anticipation of the Dr Lector's actions that keeps the story going, he is introduced back into the story very gentley and although this is realistic, it did tend to drag a little. I did find myself at one point just wanting to shout at the screen "Just eat him" (which is completely out of character for me). After this extended introduction of Dr Lector back into Clarice's life, the plot seemed to wander unsure of what to do now these two characters had been reunited, there is a sudden action sequence and then the film finishs.
The other characters in the film were fairly bland, Mason Verger (Gary Oldman buried under the makeup) was good but we had no real history or motivation aside from revenge and he was underused in my opinion, Ray Liotta's character was very shallow and hardly used until the end when he became an important pawn in Hannibal's game, it just seemed out of place. The Italian policemen gets the award for the MOST stupid character in history, "mad-crazed killer, I think I'll try to catch him myself with nothing but a piece of chewing gum, that will stop him".
I initally came out thinking Hannibal was a good film but on reflection I've decided that Hannibal is a good character but the film was more than a little dull. It just seemed like someone was desperate to make a sequel so they worked out a way to bring Hannibal back but then didn't know what to do with him. Nevermind, Silence of the Lambs is still good.