REVIEW: Hannibal Rising (2007)


Hannibal Rising: D-

This movie will totally scare the shit out of you if you think that a killer who looks like Geroge McFly (from Back to the Future) wearing too much hair mousse is scary.

The film is rotten with ineffective storytelling (I hope you like flashbacks), ineffective characters (flat characters galore), and ineffective scares (unless you are scared by ominous smirking). However, it does one thing effectively: it sucks the life out of the Hannibal Lecter series [grotesque sucking sound, fava beans]. No surprise that Hopkins stayed away from this one.

Once upon a time, Hannibal was an ordinary un-demented 8 year old, and he was subjected to all this gruesome trauma: his loving parents are killed, his adorable sister is killed, he is terrorized by Nazis. There is cannibalism. There are even explosions!

He is a sad orphan who gets pushed around a lot and you have to watch about 30 minutes worth of it. Just start the movie like half way in; you won’t miss a thing.

40 minutes later (yes, 40), Hannibal is a McFly-ish looking 20-something and he finally kills someone! It’s not even cool either. He cuts a guy’s head off with a sword. There is no harrowing psychoanalysis or cannibalism involved. Sorry.

The rest of the movie is him hunting down the Nazis who killed his family. The end.

I don’t really get the “Rising” part of the title. What is he, a fucking soufflé? The character doesn’t “transcend” in any way. He doesn’t “rise above” any obstacles. I do have some suggestions for alternate titles based on what he does do:

  • “Hannibal Crying”
  • “Hannibal Leering”
  • “Hannibal Whining”
  • “Hannibal Using Too Much Hair Gel”

What a mess. The cover art for the film is a close-up of Hannibal wearing his famous muzzle. I think this was partially to hide the identity of the actor playing Hannibal in the movie; it’s a pretty big let-down when you realize Hopkins isn’t showing up and you are stuck with some George McFly looking asshole.