Tag Archives: Laurence Fishburne

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) – A Good Sequel That Raises the Stakes

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    “John Wick: Chapter 2” is the best kind of sequel. It raises the stakes, gives greater exploration of the world and further develops the characters. Sadly what keeps it from being on par with the first film is it isn’t nearly as tightly written and the ending could have been handled differently. I wouldn’t call it great because the cons it carries keep it from being that, it is no “Empire Strikes Back” but it is better than “Die Hard 2.”

      The film was directed by Chad Stahelski, written by Derek Kolstad and produced by David Leitch, Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee.

     The story picks up where the last film left off with Wick taking out Viggo’s brother to get his car back so he can go back into retirement. Sadly his retirement doesn’t last long as Santino calls upon a “Marker” that had been formed between them when he helped John complete his impossible task. When John refuses he destroys his home, forcing John to fulfill the “Marker” and kill his sister, who sits on the Assassin High Table.

SPOILERS ahead

The Pros: The Premise – The premise involves John being pulled back into the world of assassins after he finishes back his car as the stakes are raised as he has to kill someone who will put an even bigger bounty on his head. I enjoy the “lose lose” of the situation that John is put into. It forces creativity and thinking outside the box.

The Opening – The opening is fantastic and one of the best action sequences in the whole film. In it we see John get his car back and make peace with Abram (Viggo’s brother) after he kills all his men and gets his car back. It is powerful and we see that John is still honorable even when others are not.

The Action – This film has a lot of action in it and because of it there is a lot of great action. From the fight in the catacombs in Rome, to the Museum fight and the car chase at the beginning…all of these run laps around the Bond films out of recent memory.

 The World – The world is intricate as we learn more about what holds the world of assassins in place. From the Continental having hotels all over the world, the High Council of 12 that runs everything and the Bowery King, and underground information broker in NY who owns the streets.

The Characters – The characters are the best part and there are a lot of great ones, though the villain is once again the least interesting character in the film…much like Viggo’s son in the first film.

Charon – Charon is the man who welcomes people into the Continental and this time he is Wick’s ally as he takes care of his dog and takes him in before the Continental excommunicates him. I hope he’ll be back for the sequel.

Ares – Ares is the deaf assassin that serves Santino. She is a great character and holds off Wick on multiple occasions. I wish we could have learned why she is serving Santino as there was clearly more there. She is the final boss for Wick before he finally ends Santino in the Continental. Ruby Rose does a fantastic job.

Gianna – Gianna is Santino’s sister and one of the members of the High Table. She kills herself rather than letting John kill her and they have a great conversation as we see that she always ended things on her terms. Like Santino she is ruthless though as our first scene with her is her shutting down someone whose land she has taken in her rise to power. We learn that her and John are friends too.

Cassian – Cassian is Gianna’s protector and Common does a great job of showing him to be the honorable assassin. He is respectful of John, even as he is trying to kill him and we see how both of their codes keep them at odds where they would be friends in other circumstances.

Aurelio – Leguizamo is back, though it is only to pick up John’s car and joke around about when it will be fixed. He is a great character though and I hope he is an ally in the next film.

Winston – McShane does an amazing job as this character. In this we see he like Cassian is bound by honor and he gives Wick a day before he excommunicates him as well as giving him the “Marker” that Santino had placed him under so he can use it to free himself someday. You see regret from Winston but also hope that Wick will survive.

The Bowery King – Fishburne plays the Bowery King, an information broker who tags pigeons with chips and microphones so he knows what is going on everywhere. He is insane but has respect for Wick for sparing his life. I hope we see him again as he mentions that Wick owes him when he hides, heals and gives Wick the gun to take out Santino.

Okay: Santino – Santino betrays Wick and there is no reason behind it. It is implied they have a history but it is never explored fully. I didn’t hate the character so I won’t put him as a con, but he could have been so much more. I wanted more history and less action and he could have been how to do that.

The Ending – The ending has Wick excommunicated and the High Table raising the bounty internationally on his head as he is running away with his dog but holding the “Marker” which maybe his salvation. I liked it but wish he had found a more creative way to end Santino. I wish he’d still had the Continental. Him having nothing makes his survival much more questionable and if they don’t kill him next film (given he has no allies) it will be difficult to take seriously. He needed some allies.

Cons: When the Action Goes Too Long – There is a ton of action in this film and at times it goes on way too long. I get this is an action movie but what made the first film better is the action had purpose and didn’t overstay it’s welcome. When Alfie Allen is taken out it is quick but here the action sequences are dragged out and it detracted from the amazing narrative that was going on.

    This is a sequel you should check out if you like action films and were a fan of the first film. The world is further developed and the stakes are raised in such a way that they could end this series as a Trilogy easily. After that I hope they don’t do anymore, they can’t raise the stakes and take anymore from John Wick, so I hope they end this series next movie. I really like John Wick and I’d hate for to be “Die Harded.” This film is a solid sequel and is once again a lot of fun in a world Keanu Reeves clearly owns.

Final Score: 8.9 / 10

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Man of Steel (2013): Great Villain, Bland Leads and a World Worth Exploring

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   “Man of Steel” is a controversial film, and after seeing it I get why. This is a film that isn’t a favorite, but I didn’t hate it either. I found the main leads boring but I found the world they inhabited fascinating, and I did enjoy the villain a lot. I found the writing clunky but the cinematography and score helped counter that in some ways…this is film that I’m torn over a little bit and at the end of the day, I did enjoy…even if I’m not likely to see it again anytime soon. What lead me to checking out this film is I plan on reviewing “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice” soon and since that is a direct sequel to this film, I figured I should do my research and finally watch it.

      The film was directed by Zack Snyder and written by David Goyer and Christopher Nolan with the producers being Charles Roven and Deborah Snyer, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas.

     The story involves the origin of Superman (Henry Cavill) in regards to his childhood and the fall of Krypton leading to General Zod (Michael Shannon) returning to Earth in order to shape the planet into a new Krypton.

  The Pros: The Cinematography – Amir Mokri does a fantastic job on the cinematography and shows us a dark world full of life and color. We see it in the adventures in the wilderness with Superman and at the beginning especially when alien Krypton and it’s destruction is shown to us.

The Soundtrack – Hans Zimmer creates a masterful soaring score that really captures the promise of Superman and also the danger of the villains he faces. These are aliens who are as powerful as the best of humanity’s tech and the score captures the alienness of Krypton and those who come from it, even Superman.

The Universe – I like this Universe. I found Krypton very cool, from the High Council, the Military, the fact that people are raised to be in certain roles (creating a caste system) and how Jor-El’s heresy leads to Superman’s creation and also the destruction of Krypton’s people, culture and world as a whole. I also like how humanity fears Superman…it feels believable and from that Superman’s vulnerability and inability to really save people as he doesn’t understand his power fully.

Krypton – This is my third timing mention Krypton, but it is worth doing so. I loved Krpyton’s design and the technology on the planet as well as the mixture of biology and tech. This was a world that I wanted to spend more time in and would have watched and loved the movie if it just took place here and wasn’t about Superman at all until the very end.

Jor-El – Russell Crowe was great as Superman’s dad. He was easily the best actor in this and the writing for him felt the most natural. His personal relationship and rivalry with Zod was fantastic too and I like how they had a grudging respect for one another, even up until the end. They were equals and in the end both were destroyed because of it.

General Zod – Michael Shannon is awesome! I really want to see this guy in more films after this. This is a guy who could ham it up and have an aura of fear and crazy about it. He reminded me of Jeffrey Dean Morgan who played The Comedian in “Watchmen.” I wanted to know this character more and he truly felt like a threat the entire time. I got why Superman couldn’t save people and had to kill him, as long as this guy lived Earth would be under threat of total annihilation and he’d do it and could do it, even without his technology.

General Calvin Swanwick – Harry Lennix is great in everything I’ve seen him in. He gives character and depth to a role that would usually be stock in any other film (and was for all the Daily Planet folks and the Kents). I hope he’s in “Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

Okay: Superman – Cavill is okay but he isn’t given the chance to show all that much depth. He’s sad and angry and we see him smile…once. I get being thoughtful but Cavill isn’t that great of an actor, thoughtful just ends up looking angry. He was one of the weakest but I at least got his motivation and his desire to look after those around him.

The Cons: Lois Lane – Lois Lane is a plot device in this. She is a living McGuffin that moves around plot points to advance the story. Poor Amy Adams…the one time she has a chance to do something (relationship with Superman) there isn’t any chemistry. She really wasn’t needed in this story and her role could be filled by anybody.

Perry White – Fishburne is a good actor but in here he is just a stock character type. The Daily Planet doesn’t really do anything and he like Lois Lane is there mostly to be saved by Superman….

Jonathan and Martha Kent – These two are the final stock types….there is paranoid Jonathan who wants Clark to keep his powers secret until he’s ready even if people die…and his Mom who is just kind of there and isn’t given anything to do. These folks felt like American^tm

Blatant Product Placement – Superman fights in the IHOP, used to work at the IHOP and over the course of the film there. This was super annoying and thankfully the action distracted from this because every time something came I couldn’t help but be annoyed…I get films need endorsements and money to be made, but this doesn’t have to “Transformers” level obvious.

      This is a deeply flawed but enjoyable movie. It makes me want to go back and check out other versions of the character from Bruce Timm’s version of the character, the original Superman of the films and even the very hated “Superman Returns.” I’ll admit he isn’t the guy I’m drawn to DC comics for. It is hard to tell a compelling Superman story as so much of what creates drama is the facing of adversity and if you are someone with only one weakness, it’s hard to create tension. In that way Superman is only as interesting as the world around him and I found the world around him in this fascinating, even if the character paled in comparison to the villain.

Final Score: 7.6 / 10

“Hannibal” Retrospect – A Masterpiece of Beauty, Terror and the Psychology of the Human Mind

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     What a fantastic ride this was. Very few shows manage to keep up great quality consistently through all their seasons, more often than not they will jump the shark, repeat storylines that have been done before, lose focus, change cast or try so hard to be deep that it just comes out a muddled mess. Suffice to say “Hannibal” did not have that problem.

    This was a show that gave us the chance to get to know nearly every character, be they serial killer, cop, psychiatrist or other…the episode they would appear in would give us a glimpse into their mind and motivation and ask us to question it. This was a show that liked to present horror as beautiful as well as remind us of the potential for good and bad within us all or even to question that paradigm all together. This is truly Bryan Fuller’s masterpiece.

SPOILERS are going to be ahead.

     The show’s story involves the relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal as Graham is someone who hunts killers by seeing their perspective through empathy as Hannibal both guides and attempts to corrupt him through it leading to an eventual confrontation and a fallout that occurs all through season 3 eventually leading to a final reckoning between them as around them other characters deal with the consequences of how they have been changed by Hannibal and from it how they relate to one another and the world.

The Pros: The Cinematography – James Hawkinson and Karim Hussain were great at this series creating stunning visuals throughout this season. From bodies made to look like trees and pieces of art to the use of shadow and light to show us the shadow and light within all of our characters. These two truly capture the amazing visual medium that is the art of cinema.

The Soundtrack – Brian Reitzell does a great job on the soundtrack throughout the series, giving us a haunting score that captures both the thriller and horror themes infused with an element of a tragedy.

The Writing – Bryan Fuller and his team did a great job on this series. From the characters, to the arcs, to the themes and the tiny details of showing us character motivation rather than telling us it. This writing also managed to breathe life into minor and one shot characters who managed to make an impact.

The Arcs – Season 1’s arc involved those who knew Hannibal was a serial killer getting killed off leading to the eventual framing of Will Graham and Will becoming more isolated from the people in the force as Hannibal becomes his only friend before he is framed for the murder of his adopted daughter Abigail Hobbs who he had rescued from a killer. Season 2 is freeing Will Graham from prison and Jack and Will’s hunt for Hannibal eventually leading to Hannibal and Bedelia escaping to Europe. Season 3 involves the capture of Hannibal by Jack and Will and Wil land Hannibal’s self destructive relationship coming to an end in the final confrontation with the Red Dragon.

The Characters – The characters drive the story and none of them are the same throughout the series. They change and we see them transformed by events to become much darker than the people they were before or in some cases more empathetic.

Dr. Abel Gidion – Eddie Izzard plays a fascinating killer who is obsessed with Alana Bloom and ends up being framed to have been killed by Chilton when he was really being held hostage by Hannibal and fed to himself. Izzard is savvy and even though he is a monster his rebellious nature against Hannibal is great as he promises Hannibal that he can’t wait for Hannibal to get his reward and be eaten too. Raul Esparaza does a good job.

Dr. Chilton – Chilton is corrupt and out for fame but he does have a noble side as we see him try to help Will as he does want to capture Hannibal. This leads to him getting shot and eventually him being burned alive by the Red Dragon and losing his tongue. He goes through a lot and in the end is the truth teller to others as in losing his skin he can see through the illusion of others.

Beverly Katz – Hetteine Park does such a great job. Beverly Katz is Will’s friend and she is one of the first to find out the truth about Hannibal, sadly is killed in the process but we see her help catch multiple killers as her, Will and Jack make a great team hunting the serial killers through Season 1 and her time with Will in Season 2 gives him hope of getting justice and Hannibal’s eventual capture. R.I.P. She was missed and one of the best characters on the show.

Bella Crawford – Gina Torres is wonderful as Jack Crawford’s wife. She has cancer and is a woman who wants to die for a lot of it but is able to connect with Jack and give him hope to fight on after Hannibal nearly kills him. She is there to show us the potential for good in Hannibal and to show us Jack’s tender side as she in many ways is harder than he is because of the constant suffering she is in because of her cancer. Her death means something.

Abigail Hobbs – Hobbs is the daughter of a serial killer raised by a serial killer (Hannibal) she is his partner in crime and sets up her fake death with him to frame Will Graham, but we see that she never stops caring for them both and truly wanted to spend the rest of her life with them as they could relate to her darkness and otherness she felt towards others. Will feels her death to the point that he hallucinates her being alive when he is in Italy hunting Hannibal.

Margot Verger – Margot Verger is awesome. Her brother is a sexually and physically abusive ass and seeing her get her revenge as well as find connection with both Will and later Alana Bloom show her recovery as she gets to get revenge on her brother and inherit the Verger fortune. She lives a horror story and manages to grow and endure through it…her’s is one of the few hopeful endings in this story.

Alana Bloom – Alana Bloom is the one who is a bit more detached than Will but still feels even after Hannibal nearly paralyzes her and Mason Verger continues to harass her. She is powerful and a great character as she never breaks her integrity even as she becomes more ruthless as her philosophy truly becomes one of survival and growth. Caroline Dhavernas does a great job.

Bedelia Du Maurier – Gillian Anderson is awesome! Bedelia is in many ways as sociopathic as Hannibal as she uses people for her gain and survival though we see her vulnerable as Hannibal tries to make her more than just an observer. She is great though as she navigates each of her escape and is still safe from the FBI at the end and possibly Hannibal, that is still a question as it depends what he did after the Red Dragon rescues him and before they face off against the Red Dragon. Her arc is realizing how dark Hannibal’s darkness goes, stepping away from it and setting down boundaries in turn forcing him to leave her.

Francis Dolarhyde/The Red Dragon – This guy is the best of the serial killer antagonists. He is sympathetic as he protects his blind girlfriend from himself faking his own death so she won’t have to deal with the Dragon and even giving Hannibal and Will a fighting chance before together they finally take him down as he finally becomes the Red Dragon as he ends the Angel of Darkness (Hannibal) and Light (Will) and in turns dies and becomes the Dragon as he chose death on his own terms. It’s horrifying to think about and shows just how well this character was handled. I didn’t care about this guy at all in “Red Dragon.”

Hannibal – Hannibal is a fascinating character as his arc is becoming more like Will as he saves Will’s life from Mason Verger after trying to kill him on multiple occasions as he and Will’s co-dependence leads them to destruction. He loves Will and from it hurts him as Hannibal is someone who never knew love because of the Nazi guard having him eat and kill his sister. This leads to Hannibal dealing by embracing delusion where he is always in control but it is built on a lie as he denies the humanity of others and in doing denies the humanity in himself that is always reaching out to Will and in some ways to stop (he stops killing for a while in Italy), showing there is some good in this broken monster. Mad Mikkelson might be the best Hannibal.

Will Graham – Will is awesome! He is the hero whose very ability to empathize with others makes him realize how deep his shadow goes. This show is about exploring Will Graham’s shadow as he realizes how similar he is to Hannibal in both his otherness in how people can’t relate to him and his need to hunt and stop killers in the same way Hannibal hunts victims (not eating them of course). This leads to his final choice as he realizes his self-destructive love for Hannibal will only lead to ruin as Hannibal is already ruin to all those around him and from there he makes the last noble choice to end them both. Hugh Dancy is awesome.

Good, Bad and Paradigms – Another theme is that of good and bad or good and evil. We are dealing with sociopaths and killers and the darker side of human nature is presented with different characters like Alana, Will and Hannibal attempting to upset the paradigm as we get the practical point of view of ends justifying the means through Jack Crawford, the surivalism of Alana Gram, the empathy and focus on the individual relationships of Will and the law of predators and prey with Hannibal.

The Shadow in People – The Shadow of people is another thing, with Dolarhyde and his becoming the Red Dragon that he is fighting to control, Will and his empathy and becoming the killers he is trying to avoid. Hannibal embraces his shadow making him the corrupting figure to those around him as he knows he is a sociopath and doesn’t care except in relationship to Will.

Empathy – Empathy is a theme of the show, for better and for worse. Will’s empathy leads to him being manipulated and Alana’s empathy leads to Hannibal using her. Empathy is shown to be dangerous but important as it is the only way people can truly relate and grow together. It is empathy for Will that shows that Hannibal is capable of being more than a monster with honor.

Love and Relationships – Love and relationships are a major theme. From Margot Verger and Alana Bloom escaping from their abusive ex-partners (Hannibal and Mason) and rising up as powerhouses and rulers of the Verger fortune…from Bedelia and Hannibal and Bedelia setting boundaries and surviving in the process, Jack and Bella with letting go, (which also happens with Will and Alana and them going from lovers to friends) and Hannibal and Will who become reflections of one another and is the only person Hannibal truly loves leading to their final suicide together as Will realizes that he could become Hannibal as he enjoys the rush of survival and the kill.

    The only con I could think of in this series is sometimes it gets too meditative rather than letting the action drive forward it will sit in a character’s head for a long period of time, which is fascinating but at the same at least in regards to Season 3, it held back the final confrontation between Crawford, Will and Hannibal and the Red Dragon Arc, which without a doubt was my favorite arc in the series and an excellent close to an amazing show. This is the kind of show that took it’s audience and story seriously and let them change and grow giving us character arcs and consequences to create one of the greatest and most beautiful shows on television.

Final Score: 9.8 / 10 A nearly perfect show.

“Hannibal” Season 3 Retrospect – Beauty, The Past and the Seeking of Connection

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     Season 3 has been an interesting ride. The first part of the season is really slow, but it picks up when Jack Crawford and Will Graham finally get into place for dealing with Hannibal. Before that it is pretty reflective and can really stretch, not in a bad way of course, as the writing and cinematography are still beautiful but the first part of the season doesn’t compare to the second part of the season which is hands down the best the show has ever been as “The Red Dragon” became adapted to television.

     I’ll get into more detail further down but Bryan Fuller truly created a masterpiece that is at the very least on part with “The Silence of the Lambs” if not better. So without further ado, lets get into the review.  The show was produced by Carol Dunn Trussell and Michael Wray.

SPOILERS ahead.

    There are two arcs this season. The first arc involves Will Graham, Jack Crawford and Alana Bloom trying to capture Hannibal Lecter while Dr. Chilton and Mason Verger seek revenge as Hannibal and Bedelia live as the Fells in Italy as Hannibal continues his hunt for victims and Bedelia feels trapped.

   The second arc involves the rise of the Red Dragon and Will Graham being pulled back into the world he left behind. There is a time skip between Hannibal’s capture and the Red Dragon’s rise as Will and Jack hunt him as he works on his becoming and they turn once more to Hannibal for help.

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The Pros: The Writing – The writing for Hannibal has always been amazing, in this season we get into what it means to be an observer or an active participant in evil (Hannibal’s killing of others when he is Dr. Fel) and later when Will is out trying to capture the Red Dragon and ends he is willing to go to in using others the way Jack Crawford does. The writing is truly amazing this story beyond this too as we see how the events of the past season have shaped Dr. Chilton, the Vergers, Alana Bloom, Jack Crawford, Will Graham, Bedelia and Hannibal…and the Red Dragon in the second part of the season.

The Cinematography – James Hawkinson and Karim Hussain do a wonderful job on the cinematography in this show. Hands down, this Hannibal has always been a beautiful show in how they film shots and these two have consistently kept that same quality through all 3 seasons and allowed us glimpse into our characters minds in how they shoot the shots and use the light and shadow to show us a story.

The Soundtrack – Brian Reitzell did a wonderful job this season on the soundtrack once again and is good at creating tension with his soundtrack. Like the rest of the series it is haunting.

In Will’s Mind – Season 2 ended with a lot of bloodshed and one of the people who died was Will’s adopted daughter Abigail Hobbs. When he first arrives in Italy she is the main person he is talking too. We also see in Will’s mind anytime we deal with the Red Dragon as the Red Dragon or Hannibal are presented as the Monsters they see themselves as, horns or wings and all and that is how Will’s ability to empathize is visually presented on screen as well as what he sees in his mind.

Catching Hannibal – This is a great arc when it finally happens. It starts with Bedelia showing herself around cameras so the FBI will know where her and Hannibal are and continues from there with Mason Verger buying out the Italian police force and Jack and Will hunting Hannibal down. Jack nearly beats Hannibal to death with Hannibal’s torture devices against him and later Hannibal catches them both and plans to cut open Will’s head to eat his brain before he is finally caught by Mason Verger and Alana, after Margot and Alana release him to rescue Will and later Jack and Will capture Hannibal when he turns himself in after Will rejects him.

Jack Crawford’s Revenge – Jack beats Hannibal nearly to death with Hannibal’s own torture devices…after he was nearly killed last season and tormented by Hannibal in Season 2 this is major justice.

In Hannibal’s Mind – In Hannibal’s mind he is always in control. When he is prison he sees himself as in a Cathedral, his home drinking wine or in a nice environment and even when the FBI threatens to take away his toilet and other things he still holds that delusion. It’s powerful and shows why he is always confidence. Hannibal has a powerful mind palace.

The Red Dragon Arc – The Red Dragon arc is amazing and the strongest part of this season. In this we see Will has adopted a family and is taking care of them and is stable until Jack pulls him back in to hunt for the “Tooth Fairy,” who has slaughtered families and replaced their eyes with glass. In this arc we get to know Francis Dolarhyde, a loner obsessed with Blake and becoming the Dragon in Blake’s painting. To this end he connects with Hannibal which the FBI exploits and leads to a final end game in which Will and Hannibal must together stop the Red Dragon who upset the FBI’s initial plans.

The Characters – The characters have always been solid in this show and their acting is solid as usual. I’m going to name some of the most memorable performances here as well as the characters who had the most concrete arcs.

Dr. Chilton – Chilton’s arc is a tragedy as we see his lies and explotation of others lead to the Red Dragon doing the same to him and him losing his tongue and skin in the process. In the end he is the one speaking truth to the darker sides of Alana, Hannibal, Will and Jack as he sees that he was a pawn all along and calls them on it. He also speaks truth to those who judge by appearances as he once did. Raul Esparaza has a masterful performance as this very flawed but compelling character who did not deserve what the Red Dragon did to him.

Alana Bloom – Alana Bloom moves on from her trauma and heals by hooking up with Margot Verger, together they kill Mason Verger getting him back for the sexual and physical abuse he gave Margot and later we see her escape from the country knowing Hannibal could be on the loose again as her and Margot leave with their child and the Verger fortune. She is a balanced character ans she helps real in Will’s tendencies to over empathize. Caroline Dharvernas is fantastic!

Bedelia Du Maurier – Gillian Anderson plays one of the most memorable characters of the series who is able to tell Hannibal “no,” and does so when he wants to escape with her as she knows she is nothing more than a future meal and plaything and takes control of her life. We also see her outsmart the FBI as she pretends to have been hypnotized by Hannibal to become Mrs. Fell.

Jack Crawford – This is one of the best roles that Laurence Fishburne has played and my respect for him as an actor grew so much after this season. He is the one who knows the price of his job. I’m glad he survived the series and he was good at showing us there aren’t good choices as we see that Will becomes much like him as he realizes the same thing. You have to use people to catch Monsters and you may become a Monster in the process but never as bad as the ones you hunt.

Hannibal Lecter – Hannibal’s arc is him finally connecting to another human being. He tries to kill Will once but after he saves Will and is rejected by him we see that he has come around. He wants to be with Will and it is the one human connection he values as we learn at the end he wanted to give Will the thrill of a good hunt and mortality. He most likely dies at the end with Will which is the only way they could go. Mads Mikkelson is of course amazing.

Francis Dolarhyde/The Red Dragon – Richard Armitage (Thorin from “The Hobbit” Trilogy) creates a memorable role as we see someone wrestling with the Dragon within and at the same time seeking to become more while dealing with his own insecurities. In the end he is able to fake his death to protect the woman he loves from him and to trick the FBI and in the end it takes both Will and Hannibal to take him down. In the end he does “become” the Red Dragon as we see his blood become wings and that his madness makes Will realize his own inner killer. So much better than the film “Red Dragon.”

Will Graham – Hugh Dancy owns this role and in this we see him heal from the trauma Hannibal gave him by killing his adopted daughter Abigail and mortally wounding him and later we even see him move on after Hannibal turns himself in. It is only when he is pulled back into the dark that he connects with Hannibal and realizes that in the process they are both too dangerous and are both Dragons, leading to him falling with Hannibal off the cliff, ending the series and their arcs.

All the Lonely People – Season 3 is about lonely people seeking connection. Alana, Bedilia, Will, Jack, Hannibal and the Red Dragon all seek out human connections to heal from their trauma and this leads to make stupid decision (Bedilia ending up with Hannibal) or smart decisions (Alana and Margot’s romance and love) or some that are inbetween (Will and Hannibal) as each of them grow as they seek to be understood and to understand another.

The Cons: Long Start – It takes a long time for the capture of Hannibal to really pick up. It was never bad persay but compared to the rest of the show it is and I understand why a lot of people stopped watching around this point because of how long it was taking to get to the action and relationship between Will, Jack and Hannibal.

     This was an amazing season that showed just how great television could become. Every character changed, and even the minor characters like the Vergers or Reba, Rinaldo or others were compelling in the minor roles they had…they just weren’t as memorable as those I have listed under characters. At the core all our loners are seeking the connection to others and it is when they finally do so that they stop being monsters. For a moment there at the end, Hannibal was a human being as he faced off against the Red Dragon with Will Graham, and in those moments there was human connection and love…everything Hannibal had lost as a child. In this way the ending was perfect and doesn’t need anymore to it. The Red Dragon is defeated and Will and Hannibal meet there end, though they are no longer alone and ruled by the trauma from their past.

Final Score: 9.7 / 10. Nearly a perfect season.

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