Damien Crevan's Movie Review of Manhunter (1986)

Rating of

Manhunter (1986)

Noonan and Cox spot on as killers...unlike Sir...
Damien Crevan - wrote on 07/07/12

Anthony Hopkins. Does that guy even read novels or the background of his role? Noonan and Cox are outstanding as they play two very different psychopathic serial killers. Both are intelligent, one is a bit more educated yet laid back, and the other is more sympathetic and not flashy. Years later, Hopkins would take the role of Hannibal Lector and make him a farce that's truly less horrifying as the real monsters. They blend in... and Lector is a bad cliche' with his love of arts, great food, different countries, ability to speak a zillion languages, and is also charming before he takes a bite out of your face. He couldn't manipulate a freaking cop with that attitude. Bryan Cox owns his character and is laid back, not as pompous, and adept at winning a lil of Graham's trust saying they were alike. Also using reasoning such as, "how can I learn anything about OUR boy unless I see those files." This is actually unsettling... no cartoon bad guy that anyone could spot for fans who like to see the killer as a movie character who couldn't EXIST in real life. Yet, they somehow get confused all the same.

The screen icons from Silence of the Lambs won Oscars, made people think that psychopaths acted like that(they don't), and really made the psychopath a popular subject for films.

Too bad that the version of Hannibal Lector from Sir Never Changes His Accent even if he's supposedly known for Creole slang in Louisiana hammed it up so much that no one remembers the more frightening, less charming version first played by Bryan Cox. Tom Noonan is spot-on, and actually outshines him as a true monster. Fortunately, Michael Mann is one of the best directors when it comes to creating realistic, sympathetic, and even likable psychopaths. Noonan had a horrible childhood as most monsters, and even changes(only to wrongfully think he's been played to go on with his insane rage/reckoning.) It's pretty sad, because he's so backward and anything but charming with real people you sort of feel for him.

Michael Mann makes this film outlandishly sylish(while the acting is great and never makes actors feel like cartoons or cliches aside from a few old school cops)with a cool synthetic score from Tangerine Dream(I believe)while bringing a masterpiece of the genre. Is it better than Silence of the Lambs? Yes. It lacks the gore, doesn't have Lector or Lektor as the most refined man ever, and keeps most of it pretty simple. This film is dated... but who cares? At least it's not sensational while having cartoons play mad villains who are murderers. Perfect film that has style to bring out that early 80's charm... can't remake films like this.

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