Manhunter

posted June 27, 2005 by Q

QWhen something is reviewed, I appreciate it when the reviewer starts off with an unbiased, neutral mind set, free of pre-conceptions.

This is no such review. This is a review of "Manhunter".

"Manhunter" is the 1986 film based off of Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter books (Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon.), specifically "Red Dragon". It's the story of an FBI agent using the aid of the convicted cannibalistic murderer Hannibal Lector (Or rather, in this case, "Hannibal Lecktor"), in order to catch a killer. I'm sure most of you know this. Moving on...

I was sorely disappointed, in a very biased way, with this movie. Most of the reasons are very unrealistic and trite, but I don't care very much. I realize it. I admit it. And I don't care. So, let's continue.

Manhunter was released in 1986, and like many movies of that era, it suffered from "Atmospheric" 80's music which blared out of no-where, completely obliterating the fourth wall. Manhunter gave the impression of "Lambs" meets "Top Gun". I have no problem with atmosphere 80's music blaring at me. It worked in several movies, such as "Breakfast Club", or any John Hughes movie, and it worked in "Lost Boys" too.

But when the music comes screaming at me from no definable source, and drowns out the dialogue, there are problems to be had. The only time the music actually worked was during the penultimate scene where the killer was terrorizing a blind woman and he turned on her stereo full blast. And what did he play? "Inna-gadda-da-vida". Rock on. This was the only time the music stuck with my suspension of belief.

The main character, FBI agent Will Graham was played by William Peterson. Some of you may know him as Gil Grissom from the crime tv show "CSI". I couldn't help, as I was watching the film, that I was watching Gil Grissom hunt a fucking psychopath. That's not what Grissom does, directly, and it made me feel that Agent Graham was way out of his depth.

Finally, of course, there was "Hannibal Lecktor". "Hannibal Lecktor" was played by Brian Cox, the same man who played William Stryker in "X-2", and Mr. Morgan in "The Ring".

Yes, this movie was released 7 years before "Lambs", yes, they could not have known that they were going to make "Lambs", let alone cast Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, but-...but-...!

I could not help comparing "Lecktor" to "Lecter". Cox's performance withered next to the all mighty "Th-th-th-ths!" of Hopkins. "Lecktor" was dull, dry, and uninteresting.

I'm so glad I have my own copy of Lambs to purge the memory of this movie from my mind.

Rating: 3.0 beer