×

HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
HANNIBAL RISING
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Peter Webber

Starring:
Gaspard Ulliel
Gong Li
Rhys Ifans

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
After the death of his parents during World War II, young Hannibal Lecter moves in with his uncle and his beautiful wife and begins plotting revenge on the barbarians responsible for his sister's death.
Is it good movie?
On its own, Hannibal Rising is a “just ok” film, but as a companion to Silence of the Lambs and the subsequent films released after it, it really pales in comparison.

I was pretty excited to check this one out, I’m a big fan of the Thomas Harris series of novels, and really dug Lambs and enjoyed Hannibal...not so much Red Dragon. So I went in with an open mind and managed to ring out absolute mediocrity. This film is extremely simple. Hannibal undergoes some serious familial trauma at a very young age, and grows up to be a pretty creepy teenager. I have to warn you about a SPOILER here for the sake of the review: A group of rogue soldiers kill his family and eat his little sister. So now you know why Hannibal develops a taste for flesh. The whole thing plays out relatively shock-free. Hannibal suffers, he flees, he hooks up with a weird Asian woman, she trains him as a samurai (?), and then he goes out on his own, hunting down the soldiers who wronged him one by one and killing them. Anyone else who bugs him generally meets their fate too. The death scenes are moderately intense and sort of gruesome, but this didn’t really hold my attention. Hannibal is a creepy little bugger, played well by Gaspard Ullel, although he’s more like the Goth kid you beat up in high school than one of the world’s most wanted serial killers. I see no resemblance between him and Sir Anthony at all, which may be another reason this film didn’t feel like a real part of the series.

Hannibal Rising was really just sort of a ho-hum experience for me. I felt the whole production was sort of over the top, and simply a way to cash in on the franchise’s (relatively) good name. One thing that really drove me crazy is the Samurai mask you see Hannibal wearing on the film’s cover and at various points through the film. This mask was clearly written into the movie solely to capitalize on the mask that Lecter wore in the first film, Silence of the Lambs. It serves no purpose, and goes along with the ridiculous idea that Hannibal is a samurai. Remember, he doesn’t LIKE wearing the mask; it was strapped on him to protect people from being bitten in Lambs! Just an example of Hollywood’s ridiculous grip on certain studio films. Some may disagree and think it was a nice touch but if you think hard about it, it seems ludicrous.
Video / Audio
Video is a gorgeous 2.35.1 Widescreen transfer that is just pristine.

Audio comes in Dolby 5.1 and is a little heavy on the rear speakers, but works just fine.
The Extras
The Commentary by Director Peter Webber and Producer Martha De Laurentiis is vapid and absolutely boring. When they’re not patting each other on the back, they’re telling you what’s happening in the scene.

You get 7 minutes of Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary which are completely disposable, and the commentary’s even worse.

Hannibal Lecter: The Origin of Evil is a short 7 minute featurette that adds zero to the film if you’ve seen it, and almost makes you want to watch it if you haven’t. Almost. Designing Horror and Elegance is another short feature regarding the design portion of Hannibal. It’s okay, but adds little to the disc overall.

You’ll also get the Theatrical Trailer and Teaser, and a gaggle of other Previews of coming attractions.
Last Call
Hannibal Rising passed under many radars and underperformed at the box office, and rightfully so. It is unfortunate that the slowly declining franchise is essentially going out with a whimper, but the truth is that Hannibal Rising lacks any real substance, or bite. The film is mediocre and watchable, but empty and forgettable in the end.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting