Bit of a Massacre
When an operation which she is leading goes badly due to a man who resents her giving orders, FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) finds her career on the line especially when one of her seniors, Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) tries to force her out. But Clarice's past dealings with Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is her saving grace as one of his victims; the horribly mutilated Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) wants revenge he wants to use Clarice to lure out Hannibal. And it works thanks to corrupt Italian Insp. Rinaldo Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini) who discovers the man he has befriended at the museum is Hannibal and wants to claim the huge reward which Verger has put up for information on his where abouts.
"Hannibal" is a prime example why some movies should never have a sequel as they can never match up to what has already been done even though in their own right they are not a bad movie. It is quite sad really because the storyline by Thomas Harris which sees Hannibal drawn back to the States due to his fondness for Clarice is quite good. And all the little details from discovering how Verger lost his face to the greedy nature of Inspector Pazzi means there is plenty going on to keep you involved even though at times it feels a bit too spread out.
But after the decent nature of the story "Hannibal" has problems starting with Julianne Moore, a great actress but saddled with mission impossible to take over from Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling. No one could play Clarice like Foster did and so whilst Moore tries to stamp her own mark on her it just doesn't work. But then you have the other characters and there seems to be an extreme nature to "Hannibal" from Ray Liotta giving it the full menace as Krendler whilst Oldman is unrecognizable as Verger who is an extremely disfigured character. But in being extreme as is the ending of the movie it seems to almost be desperate to try and stand out.
What this all boils down to is that "Hannibal" is a disappointment when you compare it to "Silence of the Lambs" but at the same time if this had been the first movie in the series it would have come across as a good movie.