Manhunter ★★★★

The character of Dr Hannibal Lecter or in this case Lecktor, reminds me of Joker. Why? Both super villains are 100% unforgettable, and both have been played to excellence by different actors. While Brian Cox’s Lecktor isn’t front and center in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, he does have a gigantic screen presence in his few scenes just chillin in a prison cell, while playing mind games with William Petersen’s Will Graham. I’ll save the debate on who’s the best Hannibal for another day.

To me, Manhunter is mostly about tortured soul, Will Graham, trying to get his way of living back.  Something very intimate was taken from him, a part of his body and soul most never recover from. He’s at a point where he’s either going to be okay, or he’s going to go over the edge. But, neither the audience nor Graham know which side of crazy he will come out on. And, that a great thing for Manhunter, because sometimes you gotta be crazy yourself, to catch a maniac loon.

The music is my favorite aspect of Manhunter. The ‘80s sound is in full effect, and used just right. The music is especially perfect when pertaining to the serial killer, Tooth Fairy. His mood music with Joan Allen, and the Iron Butterfly track near the end, couldn’t have been more Michael Mann-esque. Speaking of Tooth Fairy, the first look we get of him is one of those images you will never get out of your head. His crimes are so hideous, it brings his villain score up multiple notches.

The way the movie sounds, the way the movie looks, the cool camera views and the macho men doing macho things all scream Michael Mann. For me, Manhunter and Thief are the most Michael Mann of the Michael Mann films. I do feel the narrative of Manhunter could’ve been more organized. For example, Joan Allen appearing without much explanation near the end, and becoming a very important character out of the blue. But, perhaps the chaos of Manhunter makes it so special. The chaotic mess both on the screen and the chaos going through Will Graham’s mind make Manhunter one of those films that are  truly unforgettable, no matter the obvious flaws and imperfections.

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