Can the vicious Dr. Lector be tasty on TV? Let’s find out as we check out "Hannibal - Season One" out now on Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. We review the dinner meats below!
Title: "Hannibal - Season One"
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 561 minutes
Release Company: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
The Flick: Good and bad on this pre-"Manhunter" serial. The bad has more to do with dragging out a story that could be told in two episodes. You have FBI Agent Will Graham and Hannibal Lector (prior to being caught) playing a cat and mouse game and frankly the tiresome exercise makes Graham look like a bit of a dolt. (Will really doesn’t know Lector is a killer?!) Not to mention that Hugh Dancy is so weak and uncharismatic as the flawed Graham that the show resorts to actually having his Graham commit the murders visually – a surefire sign someone is not putting in the inner character work. (Plus Laurence Fishburne is just...Laurence Fishburne!) On the good side I found myself watching the whole first season solely because of Mads Mikkelsen’s turn as Hannibal Lector. Much like the nuanced work of Brian Cox in the original "Manhunter," Mikkelsen gives a charming, methodic and understated performance and creates a creepy Lector that unlike Anthony Hopkins doesn’t need to be over-the-top to be effective. It’s his work and his work alone that had me coming back amidst the myriad of flaws – consider me a human meat-a-tarian!
Best Feature: The 'Hannibal Reborn' featurette explains a lot about what works (going back to the beginning to tell the story of Hannibal is a good idea!) and what doesn’t (show runner Bryan Fuller claims the character of Will Graham “hadn’t been translated to the moving image yet” – check out the work of William Peterson in "Manhunter" Bryan!) – telling.
Best Hidden Gem: Again, Mikkelsen is the heartbeat of the show and has a distinctive can’t take your eyes off him quality.
Worth the Moola: I read that in future seasons they will go into "Silence of the Lambs" territory – I say lose the dull Dancy and bring in a decent Clarice that is worthy of the prowess that Mikkelsen brings.