I'm skipping the plot summary- if you're reading you watched it.
Let's just bullet some complaints that all admittedly arrive directly from my expectations of the film based on my experience with the characters.
Hannibal Lecter, or Lecktor as its spelled in Manhunter is about my all-time favorite character and Manhunter gave him what seemed like 7 minutes or less of screen time.
Brian Cox comes in a distant 3rd for me in Hannibal performances although I'm not sure it was his fault. I thought his greased back hair looked like a slack-jawed southerner instead of a regal gentleman like Hopkins.
Dennis Ferina is great as a tough recovering alcoholic NYC cop, unfortunately he doesn't work as Agent in Charge of the Behavioral Science Division of the FBI. He's an actor who is always on point reacting but totally unbelievable in a thinking mans role which this should be.
I just don't like William Peterson I don't think he's a very good actor (CSI sucks) and I hated the way he portrayed Will Graham. Fun fact about Peterson- turned down the role of Henry Hill in Goodfellas- thank Christ! When he's introduced to us here he's apparently retired after a mental breakdown following the capture of Lecter and living in a million dollar beach house. His wife (hire Glenn Close- too expensive- hire Glenn Close like- done) must make huge money because I can't imagine former profiler pays that well. He doesn't play the part like someone on the verge of a breakdown- he shows no vulnerability, no fear, no signs that he is torn about re-entering the field other than saying that he doesn't want to go through it again. His interactions with Lecter are confrontational, he's using Hannibal who correctly points out that Will thinks he's smarter than him. Again, my expectations hurt the roles here because the give and take between Will and Hannibal on the NBC series is what makes the show so strong. Will is vulnerable, frail, mentally unstable but undeniably gifted and shares a mutal respect and admiration with Hannibal despite the fact they are adversaries.
Tom Noonan was fantastic. Totally believable, scary and creepy, all the good things. A+ performance as the Tooth Fairy.
I think of the Hannibal series as Psychological Thriller- Manhunter I'd classify as more Intense Thriller which was probably due to some super 80s cocaine. I especially felt that when Will went charging headfirst through the picture window right into a beating from the Tooth Fairy. Made me smile thinking of (NBC series spolier alert) the exact opposite thing occurring when the guy who tried to be an animal charged into a shotgun blast from a waiting Will.
Based on my preconceived notions for everything I'd go C-, but I supposed it was an entertaining movie and had this been my introduction to the series it'd rate higher. I'll settle on C+.