Anthony Hopkins is still an effective Hannibal Lecter but the laughable puppet-like face of Gary Oldman (being an inspiration for the "Saw" films?) makes the film look like a black comedy. This is not more apparent than when Hannibal takes the "top" off Ray Liotta. Julianne Moore looks also too gorgeous for the film - and they should have kept the book's ending as the film clearly has no point to exist as it is now.
Nestled between Ridley Scott's methodical direction, Mamet's zingers and Mathieson's supreme images, is the puritan love story of Lecter and Clarice. What was once indicated is now fully realized in the sequel. Comparing Julianne Moore to Jodie Foster is complicated. The new Clarice is more ambiguous. What does she really want? Justice? God? Love? Well, Lecter's pretty darn clear about his priorities. Proves it too.
The psychological romance is back, this time sponsored by Gucci! Never thought that Hannibal Lecter on the loose would be less fearful than tied in, but the really frightful one is Mason Verger - that man will give me nightmares! Despite the female leader change, the movie appears to be a compelling sequel, though it only evidences how good the original is.
Watching this a day after I watched Silence of the Lambs, the difference in quality is glaring. Way too many rapid cuts that in no way matched the masterful lingering shots of the first movie. Unnecessary action sequences, bad dialogue, nothing left to the imagination... I did not like this film, no sir I did not.
The cutting and editing is akin to Riddley's latter Prometheus - clunky and rushed. I cannot believe David Mamet co-wrote the screenplay to this film. A heavyweight that can write such beautiful and complex gender power-plays such as Oleana then stoops to such schlock. Clarice is supposed to be a lion dressed as a lamb, not a hapless damsel. And as for Ray Liotta.... A poor, sadistic show set up for an ugly finale.
Where is the love?! It's as aesthetically gorgeous as any of Scott's other work, with a crisp, taut screenplay full of Mamet's thrilling shop-talk and intimate details. And, of course, we've another terrific turn from Hopkins, who has a lot more to do here. Oldman and Liotta are superb, too -- Julianne Moore pales in comparison to Jodie Foster, but does an admirable enough job filling those enormous shoes.