Director: Ridley Scott
Year Released: 2001
Foster and Jonathan Demme were right to back away from this slowly, as it comes close to destroying the great Silence of the Lambs and decides to go the James Bond-meets-Jason/Freddy/Leatherface avenue, with Lecter (played austerely by Hopkins, fantastic even though he loves to mouth the word Clarice endlessly) hiding away in Italy while Giancarlo Giannini, Agent Starling (Julianne Moore, clearly not Jodie Foster) and faceless Mason Verger (Gary Oldman!) chase him (the latter getting his man-eating warthogs ready for some Bondesque torture sequence). It never really makes much of a point - okay it doesn't make any point - though you can tell Scott loves his rain-soaked Florence and its classic architecture and all the taunting-the-audience shtick (Hannibal, if anything, is probably constructed as some perverse analogy for violence-and-society). The ending is clearly the best part, as it clamors to keep one-upping itself and gives you enough sickness to last most average filmgoers a lifetime, but the preceding two hours are leisurely paced and lethargic, loaded with phony police procedural discussions and quite a bit of awful dialogue.