Ridley Scott’s gruesomely engrossing sequel lacks the rounded emotional elegance of The Silence of the Lambs, but it casts a grisly fairy-tale spell. Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), the escaped homicidal genius, is now living in Florence under the courtly identity of a Renaissance scholar named Dr. Fell. Pursued by a multiplicity of forces, he responds by attacking his enemies with a ruthlessness so nimble that his very murderousness becomes a witty form of sleight of hand. The movie is nimble, too. Hopkins’ Lecter remains a riveting figure of fear, yet that doesn’t mean we aren’t rooting for him. He treats murder as pure consummation — an affectionate and weirdly sane way of putting the human race in its place. Lecter and Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore), who’s like his private combination of Inspector Javert and Dante’s Beatrice, spend the film tracking each other’s moves, and the result is a kind of Silence in Seattle. B+
Genre: Horror, Mystery and Thriller; Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Giancarlo Giannini, Ray Liotta, Francesca Neri, Gary Oldman; Director: Ridley Scott; Author: David Mamet, Steven Zaillian; Producer (group): Dino De Laurentiis Productions, MGM, Universal; Release Date Wide: 02/09/2001; Runtime (in minutes): 131; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: MGM
Posted February 23 2001 — 12:00 AM EST
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