Anyone who watches Welcome to the Punch will, at some point, feel the unerring prick of realization running up their spine. In full, the film is technically original, but in its parts, the seasoned moviegoer will recognize a number of elements from pretty much every crime drama released in the last 30 years. We have a dogged, Javert-like cop looking for revenge for a past slight, a conspiracy that reaches far and wide both within the force and within the world of big-city politics, and the sleek silvers and blues meant to point out the inherent, Michael Mann-esque moodiness on screen.
Manhunter is adapted from the Thomas Harris novel Red Dragon, the book which introduced the world to the serial killer known as Hannibal Lecter. It came five years before Harris’s other novel was adapted to the screen ( The Silence of the Lambs), and 27 years before the NBC hit crime drama Hannibal. In between, the role of Dr. Hannibal has been reprised several more times, including Hannibal in 2001 and in a second adaptation of Red Dragon made in 2002 (under the original title).
In framing Hannibal as a weekly procedural, showrunner Bryan Fuller populates his world with so many serial killers, that it becomes hard to believe that so many of these insane, yet brilliant men can all reside in the same city at the same time. Only two episodes in and we’ve already been introduced to three killers, with the possibility of a fourth. Yet, while the second episode of Hannibal does introduce a new ‘killer of the week’ formula, the series remains elevated by four things:
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