Rti03’s review published on Letterboxd:
"And if one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is."
-Doctor Hannibal Lecktor
Many people love Michael Mann and understandably so. since i myself think that he has done some outstanding movies and i sure put Heat and The Insider as contenders for a best movies of the 90's sorta of list but i still think that he has his weak spots and i'm not a big of a fan of his other material although i got to say that they are all at least intriguing movies. From what he has done i had yet to see this one, Ali and although i have watched Miami Vice i virtually remember zero from the movie and well the movie i chose to take of my watchlist was Manhunter.
Manhunter is Directed by Micheal Mann and it stars William Petersen, Kim Greist, Dennis Farina, Brian Cox, Joan Allen, Tom Noonan and Stephen Lang.
"Will Graham is a former FBI agent who recently retired to Florida with his wife Molly and their young son. Graham was a 'profiler'; one who profiles criminal's behavior and tries to put his mind into the minds of criminals to examine their thoughts while visiting crime scenes. Will is called out of his self-imposed retirement at the request of his former boss Jack Crawford to help the FBI catch an elusive serial killer, known to the press as the 'Tooth Fairy', who randomly kills whole families in their houses during nights of the full moon and leaves bite marks on his victims. To try to search for clues to get into the mind of the killer, Will has occasional meetings with Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, a charismatic but very dangerous imprisoned serial killer that Will captured years earlier which nearly drove him insane from the horrific encounter that nearly cost Will's life. With some help and hindrance, Will races against the clock before the next full moon when the 'Tooth Fairy' will strike again. Elsewhere, a local photographer named Francis Dollarhyde, the killer that Will is looking for, struggles to stay undetected while seeing a hope of redemption when be begins a relationship with a blind woman who is not aware of his double life"
The novel Red Dragon has famously been adapted to the big screen with The Silence of the Lambs and all the Hannibal prequels and sequels, what i didn't know is that there was actually another movie adapted from the same book, a movie that actually got released first than The Silence of the Lambs. I only became aware of that, little before i actually saw the movie and even when compared with The Silence of the Lambs i got to say that this movie is still good.
Both movie are completely different, the plot is different, the characters are not the same(the only one who appears in both movies is Hannibal Lector), the thing that the movies really have in common is the tone, it's like both movies are passed in a different world, there is a very special thing about the mood that these movies have and that's really where all the similarities are founded. And with that said i also absolutely mean that Jonathan Demme took a lot of inspiration of this movie into his Academy Award winning The Silence of the Lambs. Seeing this movie definitely makes me want to re-watch "Lambs".
Manhunter is basically on paper just another murder case movie where the police detective gets to deep into investigation and in the end might come out hurting himself and his loved ones, but the movie is really more than that due to several factors. First we have to think Micheal Mann who does quite a brilliant job in directing this movie, he drags the pace down quite a lot and makes the plot and characters pop up for themselves, this created a suspenseful mood as we ourselves like the detective start to get pulled into this murder case.
Mann also does brilliant jobs technically, as the movie looks stunning and it's a visual marvel really with a lot of beautiful little shots and details that will stay with you after the movie has ended. The editing and score are also worth noticing and these three factors: cinematography, score and editing do help the movie create an even more intense environment around it's plot and characters.
The acting is also pretty good, usually this kind of movie aren't gifted with the best acting in the world but fortunately we have some great acting here with William Petersen being quite fantastic as out hero, we truly buy this guy when he is in action, when he is clearly mentally troubled and when he is with is family, i thought he was particularly good in a scene in the supermarket where he is with his son, it's a very simple scene that could have gone corny but it comes out beautifully. From the supporting cast i have to stand out Brian Cox who does quite a good job in the role of Hannibal Lecktor, again we see that Demme and Hopkins took inspiration from Cox's performance.
Manhunter is visually stunning and it features some good performances but above all is a movie that succeeds perfectly in creating an atmosphere for it's audience, an atmosphere of fear, intense, gripping and often thrilling.