Manhunter ★★★★

I’ve always had a certain love for Red Dragon, but the idea of that story combined with Michael Mann pumped up some really juicy expectations for Manhunter. And what can I say? It’s obviously great. I find comparisons to the remake to be irrelevant, so let’s just focus on all the great stuff here. Like the incredible score, lending both tension and a dreamy mood to the entire film and emphasizing the fact that we’re dealing with a terrifying yet tragic killer. The cinematography too, just stylistic enough to not take the upper hand. A constantly rapid pace and fascinating editing, but Mann knows not to sacrifice the storytelling.

At its core, this is not a remarkable plot, but the great directing allows it to truly blossom and everything from Tom Noonan’s Dollarhyde to Graham’s desperate chase and the inserts of Lector comes together in bloom. William Petersen as graham may be the weak link here, but his uncharismatic nature kind of fit with the character and there’s really not much to complain about here. Manhunter is such a rich film, with a dreamlike aesthetic mixing a serial killer and tight chase. This wonderful balance between content and surface is simply another triumph for Mann, completely regardless of what would later come of Thomas Harris’ books.

Hooptober 7.0

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