If "Silence of the Lambs" was an episode of "Lost", this would be the flashback sequence. While the acting is fine, the script is fine, the production is fine, the sum of the whole simply lacks bite. It's competent, it's okay, it's worth watching. But any film featuring the Hannibal Lecter character is forever in the shadow of the "Lambs", and to date no other Lecter movie has replicated its subtle terror, and indeed Anthony Hopkins almost became his own caricature by the time "Red Dragon" hit the shelves.
This installment does nothing to enhance the franchise, and let's be honest here: if not for the previous movies, this would never have been made - at least not with a cinema release and certainly not as glossy and well-finished.
And this is where it falls down. It's TOO nicely finished, TOO clean. This needed to be gritty and dirty. It reveals too much story too soon, leaving only a single revelation for the denouement. There's too much obvious violence early on, and it soons descends into a pretty average revenge movie.
Yes, an interesting insight into the Lecter character. But thrilling? Nah. (Still better than "Hannibal" though). Oh, and wide open for a sequel / TV series? Yeah, that's right. It is.