Manhunter ★★★★

I have never been a fan of Michael Mann and I guess that is the reason I put off watching this film for so long. And while I still don't like him as a filmmaker, this film mainly works because of him and the way he allows Brian Cox to portray and explore one of the most intriguing fictional serial killers ever conceived.

Mann's shot composition and deliberately slow pacing work really well in allowing the film's plot and characters come to life. It is a dark and twisted tale, very faithful to Harris' excellent novel, that takes its time to tell a story and tell it well. In and of itself that usually doesn't warrant a high rating for a film, but Mann manages to distill something extra from the viewing experience and that comes from his use of colour. In cold and bleak pastels, Mann creates a city, an environment that feels unsafe and distant. A distance mirrored in the qualities that define the protagonist and the antagonist. They are both observers, act from a distance and methodically and make their decisions aided by the cold intellect they possess.

Cox as Lecktor and Noonan as the Tooth Fairy provide us with intriguing and stunning performances. The only one left straggling is Petersen who does not have the charisma to convincingly portray the hero of the story. A shame as most of the film rests on his shoulders.

It is a minor problem though in an excellently directed film that stands proudly on his own within the Lecktor/Lecter universe.

And rightly so.

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