The real problem for Hannibal Rising is Silence of the Lambs, as with the sequel, Hannibal and the prequel, Red Dragon, all films that follow the screen character that is Hannibal Lecter will be compared to the 1991 original. As such, none have lived up to the Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins paring.
But Hannibal Rising has another problem, without Silence of the Lambs, it has no purpose. As a movie on it’s own it is a pointless waste of time. The viewer has to already know what Lecter will become.
As a study on the creation of a monster, it is of some interest, but the movie itself seems poorly executed, as if it is just a B-grade money grabber. One could almost assume that the studio that bank rolled the movie figured that they couldn’t compete with Silence, so why bother, just church out a quickie for profit and be done with it.
And that’s quite sad, because with a bit of refinement, more focus on certain scenes, and further exploration of the central themes and Rising could have rivaled even Silence.
The interesting themes that should have been given more attention would of course made it into a totally different film, with the focus being on the social problems that beset a group of soldiers running from a war lost, and desperate to stay alive, to a system of government that did nothing for it’s people, or those that it ‘inherited’.
The whole blood lust revenge thing could have been a side note at the end. We’d have had more empathy with Hannibal at that stage if we’d be given more time with his suffering.
As it is, he ends up being nothing more that a rich kid who had his toys stolen and his nose broken by the poor bully down the street, only to enact revenge some years later when the events of the past had been forgotten.
Food for thought
Does revenge ever bring happiness?
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R18 – Contains Sadistic Violence.
Duration: 122 mins.
Genre: Suspense & Thriller.
Actors: Dominic West, Kevin McKidd, Rhys Ifans, Gong Li, Gaspard Ulliel, Richard Brake, Stephen Walters, Ivan Marevich.
Director: Peter Webber.
Release Date: Available Now.