Manhunter (1986)

There’s a lot of good in here, but it doesn’t quite come together in a satisfactory manner in the end. Brian Cox does a decent Hannibal Lecter, but it’s easy to see why Anthony Hopkins made a bigger impact in the Silence of the Lambs, Cox simply has very little to work with. Stylistically Manhunter is pretty good as a proto-FBI profiler film, and it’s easy to see how later TV shows and films were influenced by this movie.  The biggest problem  that the movie has, is that it spends too much time on Will Graham and his family  reacting to his gruesome work, and too little on making the Tooth Fairy a compelling bad guy, so the climax feels a bit dull. The Red Dragon remake managed to do it right by balancing between Graham and the Tooth Fairy so you were invested to see how it all ended, and that’s why the story itself as a whole worked better in the remake, than it does here.

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