Josiah Morgan’s review published on Letterboxd:
peter greenaway has often spoken of the inescapably awesome presence of architecture but perhaps noone captures this better than michael mann - i'm in love with the idea that he can hide people behind things but we can always see them, that way the entire film feels illicit - as audiences, we become perverts.
i like the way the interiors of crime scenes or mental wards are always white, implying there's some form of spotlessness in insanity, in murder, implying that it's 'cleaner' than any other form of release.
more appreciative than any other aspect, i love the way that mann uses point-counterpoint shots not because he has to or because he wants to but because every parallel scene is a counterpoint to the point that came before. it just makes sense. i love the thematic link between form and content, and i love the divorce between content and performance.
i like that mann's people are always out of focus and that we can clearly see the spaces around them, the backgrounds, because he shoots films that exist essentially primarily to survey space, and then to survey how that space defines people. i love the fired up score that feels wrong but oh so right, and i like when the score cuts out. i like the architecture that seems somehow clumsy against a sharply drawn landscape.
spelling Lecter like Lecktor is less of a bizarre choice than it is a hilarious backhanded insult hurled directly at the Thomas Harris mythology.
i kind of wish Brian Cox was in this more because his Hannibal Lecter is immense, i kind of wish Mann would make more films contained in small spaces like this, i kind of wish the Hannibal Lecter mythology was more like this overall and not like silence of the lambs, but mostly i'm glad this exists.
further, i am scared. i am scared that death is not a defined obect, i am scared that insanity exists, i am scared that insanity can be inherited and more prominently i am scared that death is inescapable. i am scared that my voice is white noise in a crowd like the investigators talking but never being heard in manhunter, i am worried that my voice will never be heard and i am aware that i will quite probably become a footnote of a footnote of a footnote, the way manhunter is to mann's filmography to the whole of cinema. and yet, sometimes i think, becoming a footnote could be better. disappearing into a crowd and working 8 hours a day, and then coming home, turning on a film, drinking a beer, going to bed, repeat. there's nothing like a good routine. and then i remember what i want, what i need, what i aim to be and where i want to go. and then i remember the future is sublime, and then i remember that i am scared of it and then i remember what the reality is, before i remember i do not want that reality. it's just that the things i make up are scarier.