Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Manhunter Movie Review

Manhunter (1986)
Rent Manhunter on Amazon Video
Written by: Thomas Harris (based on the book "Red Dragon" by), Michael Mann (screenplay)
Directed by: Michael Mann
Starring:  William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Dennis Farina, Tom Noonan, Stephen Lang
Rated: R

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

Former FBI profiler Will Graham (William Petersen) returns to pursue deranged serial murderer the "Tooth Fairy" with the help of the man that nearly murdered him, serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox).

Before Silence of the Lambs (1991), there was Manhunter. This isn't as over the top as Silence of the Lambs, but it's detached and clinical portraying Lecktor as normal and thus more realistic. It's not as revered, in part because it is understated, but it is a solid crime thriller. It's very '80s with a soundtrack to match.
Watch it.

Which Dr. Lecktor you prefer probably depends on which movie you've seen. Anthony Hopkins performance is eerie and sinister. He's more myth than legend with a barred face mask to prove it, while Brian Cox is cold and ordinary. Cox's portrayal is great, but will forever be overshadowed. Cox and Hopkins both play dominant roles despite such little screen time.

This is a moody and dark movie. The detail is impressive, with great use of lights and colors. Mann takes time to frame each shot. When Lecktor and Graham are in the prison, the cell bars are in the same position for both actors as the camera cuts back and forth. It's a small detail, but denotes the care in each shot.

William Petersen of CSI fame is FBI profiler Will Graham. He's using a killer to track a killer, but what are the repercussions? Lecktor nearly killed Graham, and he's fond of games. Graham lives in a world that many would consider a nightmare. When he's on a plane he falls asleep, allowing the folder of crime scene photos to spill open, horrifying nearby passengers. This is a world he had to leave because it crumpled him like a piece of paper and threw him in the garbage. It was too horrific for him to remain in the world, but this case has pulled him back in and tied him to the serial killer that scares him the most.

It's a very '80s movie from style to sound. The synth beat will feel off compared to contemporary movies, but it does achieve the desired effect of heightening the mood. One of the final sequences with Graham and the Tooth Fairy uses Iron Butterfly's In A Gadd Da Vida to great effect.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blogger Widget