May 30, 2014

M.L. Guida's Villains: Anthony Hopkins

Last night I watched Bruce Willis’ Red 2 and I was surprised that Anthony Hopkins plays in it. He plays the villain, of course, but in this movie, his evilness paled in comparison to his character, Hannibal the Cannibal, in Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal the Cannibal is probably one of my favorite anti-hero’s. Yes, he’s deadly, but in his own sick way, he protects Jodie Foster’s character Clarice Starling. I always imagined at the end of the film when she’s in the dark basement alone with Buffalo Bill that Hannibal would crash through the glass and save her. But of course, Clarice is a strong character and saves herself.

What made Hannibal so delectable was his motivation. He had a genuine reason for doing what he did. He wants his freedom and revenge, but he also wants to help Clarice and vows never to hurt her. Now his nemesis, Dr. Frederick Chilton, wasn’t so lucky. I always wondered did Hannibal eat his liver with some fava beans and a nice bottle of chianti?

Back to the movie Red 2. Hopkins’ character, Bailey, has been locked up by MI 6 for 32 years. We discover at the end his diabolical plot and why Bruce Willis guesses wrong, but his motivation is missing. Yes, he’s mad he’s lost 32 years, but I wanted him to be a deeper character. Grant it, this isn’t the same caliber film as Silence of Lambs, but Anthony Hopkins is such a great actor, I think the producers missed a grand opportunity. There was just too much shooting and predictable killings to make me believe in this character.

Have any of you seen this film? What did you think of Hopkins’ character?

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