DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hannibal Rising - review

Hannibal Rising (18)
Dir. Peter Webber

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Something smells bad here… there’s an unmistakeable stench in the air. Is it the cold dread odour of terror?

No, that’s not it.

Is it the heavy sweaty rankness inspired by a blood curdling thriller?

Nope, nothing like that, this is far less pleasant pong.

Wait, I’ve got it…

Yes, it’s the malodorous reekage of ‘cash in’ and it can be found in its distilled form anywhere near the new Hannibal film (or novel for that matter).
Yep, Hannibal Rising is a steaming whopper of a movie that whiffs so bad you’ll only have yourself to blame if you waste your time and money on it. Hannibal creator Thomas Harris apparently squeezed out the screenplay for this prequel which tells the unfortunate tale of how his famous liver munching cannibal got so twisted, at the same time he wrote the novel. How he must be laughing as he spends his ill gotten gains from this barrel scrapping, paint a dull plot by numbers exercise in unpleasant obviousness.
It turns out that Hannibal takes it quite badly when his cute little sister is eaten by scumbag Nazi partisans in the Second World War. So badly that he spends his teenage years hunting them down in a series of pretty dull revenge murders which lack any real style or emotional kick. If you really must seek out some Hannibal related nastiness this week then I feel I must warn you that the film plods along so slowly and tediously that you might fall asleep and miss the few gruesome bits.
I actually felt sorry for young Gaspard ‘A Very Long Engagement’ Ulliel who looks out of his depth trying and failing to capture the weirdly charismatic essence of Lecter. The rest of the cast do an average job with the big print picture edition script and one bright spot is Chinese star Gong Li shimmering as the murderous young rascal’s unlikely aunt. You might smile when Hannibal tries on his aunt’s samurai battle mask which he’s wearing on the poster because it does look rather like the restraint visor that he’ll be modelling in later life.
I can only guess that talented director Peter ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ Webber must have taken the blood stained money and headed for the hills because Hannibal Rising does nothing but sully the once respectable series which Manhunter and The Silence Of The Lambs delivered such quality shocks from.

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öö – slow, much too slow
Laughs ö – unintentional at best
Horror ööö – hackneyed nastiness in some scenes

Overall ö1/2 (this sucks and not in a kinky cool way)

Darkmatters: H O M E
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