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Spoiled Lamb

Hopkins without Foster just doesn't cut it.

Director Scott -- whose vastly variable output ranges from Thelma and Louise and Alien to 1492 and Legend -- seems to have signed on just for the sake of a Florentine vacation. A filmmaker with a much richer, more identifiable visual style than Demme, Scott's distinctive eye is apparent all through the Italian sequences: He makes Florence look like a Renaissance version of the Los Angeles of Blade Runner, which he also made. But the American material feels tossed off, as if Scott lost interest within moments of passing through customs.

Like other ill-considered sequels -- the later Psycho films leap to mind -- Hannibal is more than just a disappointment. It is also a spoiler, possibly weakening the impact of Silence for its fans. The new information the movie unwisely gives us about Hannibal and Clarice destroys some of the mystery in their relationship, thus retroactively sullying the memories of Silence.

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