Anyway, special agent William J. Peterson, who is the only man to survive a Hannibal Lecter attack, is brought out of retirement to help catch a serial killer known as The Tooth Fairy (Tom Noonan). The agent catches killers by getting inside their heads and thinking like them, something that makes it difficult to have a normal family life or to sleep well at night. He visits Lecter in prison, looking for advice.
This leads to one of the biggest letdowns of the film. I know this was made four years before Silence, but I saw that one first, and Brian Cox did not live up to Anthony Hopkins' brilliant portrayal of Lecter. He's just kind of grumpy and chubby behind a set of bars. Hopkins was so good because he made Lecter seem dangerous, even behind his sheets of plexiglass, at the end of a stone hallway filled with madmen, behind all those locked doors. Cox, in his normal-looking cell, is somewhat sad looking.
Anyway, the advice he gets from Lecter, combined with his training and his seeming sixth sense regarding criminals, leads him to the killer, who has since befriended a blind girl and seems on the verge of having a normal relationship when he sees her talking to another man, and flips out. Chaos ensues, leading up to a stunning finale.
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