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Hannibal Rising

February 12, 2022

Hannibal Rising (2007)
Director: Peter Webber
Actors: Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Rhys Ifans

Hannibal Rising Production Notes | 2007 Movie Releases

Synopsis: Hannibal Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel) is the sole survivor in his family from a horrific incident at the end of the Second World War in Lithuania that killed his parents, and led his younger sister, ultimately, into the hands of feral collaborators led by Vladis Grutas (Rhys Ifans). When grown up and studying medicine in France, Lecter conceives of his unique vocation as a killer, and returns to Lithuania to wreak revenge on the men that violated his sister.

Review: Hannibal Rising? More like Hannibal Risible in this truly infantile film that conceives of Hannibal Lector as a superhero in his own origin flick. This tacky, hackneyed idea finds a tacky and hackneyed grammar to boot. Not only is there an unsubtle nod to Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins in the way that Lector weaponises himself with the help of an Asian mentor, but it also has the whiff of some of the worst Bond movies in the spurious action sequences and Rhys Ifans’ turn as the most cartoonish of Eastern European villains. It’s somewhat instructive of this film’s intrinsic cultural idiocy that it chooses a Welshman and a Scotsman to play the story’s two biggest baddies, and Gong Li is patronisingly cast as an exotic Japanese guru-cum-love interest (she was clearly stereotyped as ‘oriental’) when she is actually Chinese, and there’s a substantial difference between being Chinese and Japanese. The colossally literal use of flashbacks to over-explain what little subtleties the story might have had puts the seal on this most silly of films. (February 2022)

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