This is the place where I complain about overrated films. Warning: some posts may contain SPOILERS!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Hannibal is overrated

Hannibal has a deservingly mediocre rating of 6.2 at its IMDB entry, but it also has this comment:

"...I preferred this to its Oscar winning predecessor. It had been a long, long time since a movie made me turn from the screen in genuine horror, and I didn't believe it was even possible. "Hannibal"'s deservedly controversial climax took me by surprise. It may have been revolting (okay, it was very definitely revolting) but so few movies these days have any lasting impact and I appreciate that this one did. And it is, after all, about a cannibal, is it not? At some point in a series of films about a man of Lector's inclinations, we should see him at work. Of course, the horror of the climax is effective because the rest of the film is so good. Hopkins, a little chunkier than the last time we saw him in this role, positively exudes menace especially in his final confrontation with Pazzi (an excellent Giancarlo Giannini whose sad eyes make him the most sympathetic character in the film). Then there's Gary Oldman's Mason Verger who is so contemptible that he never elicits sympathy no matter how he suffered at the hands of Lector. And Julianne Moore is an improvement over Jodie Foster who I have always believed was overrated.But the best thing about "Hannibal" is the atmosphere in which Scott and his team envelop the story. A cloud of dread hangs over this film, and beautiful Florence, Italy, though still beautiful, appears haunted by Lector's very presence in the city. "--Brian W. Fairbanks

3 out of 4 people found that review helpful; I can only hope those numbers are not a ration and that those 3 were relatives of Mr. Fairbanks. If, in fact, many people saw that comment, and 75% of them deemed the comment useful, then Hannibal is very overrated indeed.

It is also interesting to note that the only demographic groups that gave Hannibal a higher rating than the IMDB staff were all under 18. That might say something about the IMDB staff.

I would stop looking at the ratings IMDB gives films (since they suck) entirely, but then where would I get material for my blog?

Anyway, now it's time for me to talk about how bad this film was (in particualar, how the climax sucked, and how it was not better than Silence of the Lambs).

The film mainly revolves around a plot by a rich guy called Mason* Verger to kill Hannibal. Verger was one of Hannibal's victims, the only one that survived. Apparently, Hannibal gave Verger some drugs, and then suggested that Verger use some broken mirror shards to cut off his face and feed it to the dogs. Mason's face in the film is horribly disfigured, and would be scary if it were real, but since it isn't I didn't even flinch. Mason also spends all the time in a wheelchair. He has legs, and Hannibal didn't suggest for him to feed his spinal cord to the dogs, so I don't see why Mason can't walk. I guess he's just lazy.

Anyway, Hannibal goes to Florence. A Florentine police officer recognizes Hannibal, and wants some of the 3 million USD reward promised by Mason for proof of Hannibal's whereabouts. To get proof, some in situ fingerprints are required. The Italian cop gets a pickpocket to wear a bracelet and try to pickpocket Hannibal, so the Hannibal will touch the bracelet and the cop can get his fingerprints. The pickpocket does this, but in the process gets stabbed by Hannibal in the waist. He's holding his wound when the cop takes his hands away from it. The wound spurts lots of blood, but none of the passersby on the busy street seem to notice.

The cop is able to prove to Verger that Hannibal is in Florence, and Verger sends some of his henchmen to capture Hannibal. Hannibal slits one of their throats, and the guy flies like 20 feet through the air. I'm not kidding.

Now, I'm going to skip to the end. Clarice Starling has been wounded in the shoulder. Hannibal that he is worthy of his doctorate (which I always thought was in psychology) by removing the bullet and sewing up the wound. She is in bed, recovering, and wakes up. Hannibal is downstairs. Clarice sees her gun, a phone, her handcuffs, and a snowglobe on the table. She calls the cops on the phone, and then goes downstairs.

Apparently, Clarice decided not to bring her gun. I mean, she was under the influence of morphine and stuff and maybe a bit weak from blood loss and stuff, but how drugged up do you have to be to decide that a snowglobe is a better weapon to use against a serial killer than a gun?

When she gets downstairs, Hannibal convinces her to put down the snowglobe, so I guess it's a moot point.

Hannibal is in the dinign room, serving some soup and the cooked brain of a guy who is still alive. Clarice repeatedly asks Hannibal for some wine. At first, Hannibal refuses, citing her condition (after, her mind is so confused that it decided not to bring the gun to shoot Hannibal). However, he eventually pours her a glass of wine. White wine. WHITE wine! What sort of moron would make that mistake?!? Speaking from plenty of experience, it's obvious that red wine should be served with humain brain. If the directer didn't even realize that, it's no wonder this movie is so bad.

Then some stuff happens, and Clarice handcuffs herself to Hannibal, as the police are really close to the house. Hannibal grabs a cleaver, and acts like he is going to cut off clarice's hand. He's going to cut off his own hand, I thought. Hannibal cuts off his own hand. WHAT A CRAPPY AND PREDICTABLE ENDING!

Finally, Hannibal is on an airplane. He gets out some food he has. There is a little tupperware thing which Hannibal somehow manage to put some brain into while the cameras weren't looking (it must have been really good brain if Hannibal cut off his own hand and stuff but still kept it in his pocket or somethin). A kid on the plane asks Hannibal if he can have some of his food. Hannibal feeds him the brain. The end.

When this film first came out, reviewers were told not to reveal what happens in the last 10 minutes. At the time, I thought that was because the last 10 minutes were so good and the director & co. didn't want them spoiled. However, I actually know that it's because the last 10 minutes were so bad that the director & co. didn't want everyone to know how they had screwed up Thomas Harris's novel.

It's too bad actually. Until the last 10 minutes, Hannibal was a pretty good film. However, due to the peak-end_rule, my feeling of it was that it was crap, the same way you would feel a meal was crap even if everything was good except for the desert which tasted like rubber and left a bad taste in your mouth.

*What the hell kind of first name is Mason? I mean, a mason is basically a stonecutter. Would you name your kid Stonecutter? Of course being a mason is also a job (although I should point out that Verger is the heir of a lucrative meat company), but would you give your kid another name like "McDonald's fry cook" or "GarbageMan"? I would hope not!


Blogger Anonymous Poet said...

You have an interesting passion!

2/26/2005 03:26:00 AM

Anonymous Xander said...

1) you made me realize that there's too many people out there who know way more about movies than I do and will ever do. Maybe that is good thing actually.

2) my actual point being, just a small detail: you thought of Hannibal having a degree in psychology... he's a psychiatrist. To become a psychiatrist, one first has to get a degree in Medicine. (psychiatrists are allowed to subscribe drugs, whereas psychologists are not)

3) i agree with Hannibal being overrated.

5/11/2005 08:43:00 PM


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