Vincenzo Natali, who directed last week’s episode, returns as director for the finale and presents the best-looking episode of the series so far.
If “Antipasto” is the bright, sparkling fantasy of Hannibal’s life in denial over Will’s betrayal and “Secondo” is the dark fairy tale of Will embracing and coming to understand Hannibal as never before, “Dolce” is the glistening sunset of their courtship, and it’s only fitting that Natali is back to finish the journey with them.
There is such a thing as “pre-critic” movies. These are the films that had a major psychic impact on a writer or thinker way before they have even considered (or even imagined) the possibility of having cinematic sensibilities or intellectual engagement with movies as art-objects. These movies tend to be pop culture touchstones; movies like the first Star Wars film or Ghostbusters or Pulp Fiction are common ones in part because of their ubiquity. But as with all generalizations, there are always outliers and oddities. One of my pre-critic movies, which I saw as a young man of fifteen on Canadian cable on a sunny Saturday afternoon, was Vincenzo Natali’s 1997 sci-fi horror film Cube. To this day, it remains one of my very favourite films, a scrappy little piece of government-funded genre weirdness that gets by on crack direction, weird acting choices, and spectacular sound design.
It seems only natural for an expansive anthology like ABCs of Death 2 to offer up such a mixed bag
of short films. There are 26 in total, each running for approximately four to five minutes. Such the-abcs-of-death-2-stills-3time constraints act as a hindrance to many of the directors involved in the project. A large number of the shorts are either underdeveloped or conventional in terms of their story. However, there are a handful of standouts that make the viewing experience worthwhile.
Hannibal will have a lot to answer for in the upcoming three episodes of season two. Right now, there is so much that just doesn’t feel right, but I’m willing to give Bryan Fuller and his team the benefit of the doubt, and assume they know what they are doing. That said, it doesn’t change the fact that, after 22 episodes, Hannibal delivers a misfire.
Hannibal’s “Su-zakana” is pretty much a palate cleanser; an episode representing a new start in the relationship between Dr. Lecter and Will Graham. Now halfway through season two, the series seems to be entering a new phase in which Will slowly lures Hannibal by using himself as live bait. Hannibal has never been subtle, and if you didn’t already guess based on the episode’s title alone (which refers to a palate-cleansing-Japanese-dish), this week is all about the concept of rebirth.