Hannibal Rising Review
Written by: alex1176
"Hannibal Rising" is a gruesome account on the early days of Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter. It's pretty much "Hannibal Begins". And just like Bruce Wayne, the title character is born into a wealthy aristocratic family, only to see them killed at the tender age of 8.
The movie opens in war-torn Europe during WW II. When the Nazis bombard Lithuania, the Lecter family are forced to flee their castle. Soon after, husband and wife are killed by the Germans, but their children Hannibal and Mischa, live on. Unfortunately, starving war criminals cross their path and decide to have Mischa for dinner. However, Hannibal does manage to escape and years later, he is adapted by his rich aunt (Gong Li) who teaches him the way of the Samurai (!) He also excels at medical school, but still continues to be haunted by the murder of Mischa.
The plot eventually develops into that of a conventional revenge-thriller. Hannibal attempts to avenge his sister by finding and killing the men who ate her. French actor Gaspard Ulliel gives a chilling performance of Hannibal, but it's very different from the Tony Hopkins portrayal. However, you must keep in mind, that this isn't the Hannibal who met Clarice Starling in a dungeon/asylum. In "Rising", he's an anti-hero, not the villian: a good guy who begins to crave a little bit of human flesh. He has yet to be consumed by it.
Visually, the movie is stunning. The photography is exquisite, the costumes are terrific and the production design is excellent. The film feels like an art film first and a horror film second. A neat scene is when Hannibal puts on a Samurai Warrior's mask. Little does he know, years later, he will wear a similar one that will keep him from biting people! Gore fans will delight in the number of various killings that occur throughout the film.
If "Hostel: Part II" left you with a bad taste, than watch "Hannibal Rising". It is a classy, effective chiller. I loved it.