What to know
Hannibal Rising reduces the horror icon to a collection of dime-store psychological traits. Read critic reviews
You might also likeSee More
Where to watch
Rate And Review
Hannibal Rising Photos
Cast & Crew
Paul "The Butcher" Momund
News & Interviews for Hannibal Rising
Audience Reviews for Hannibal Rising
Nov 04, 2011Ugly and incoherent, Hannibal Rising is the Lecter film that nobody wanted. In this prequel Hannibal Lecter seeks out the Nazi war criminals that murdered his sister. The cast is forgettable and their performances are lifeless. The film tries to make Hannibal into a sympathetic character, but does so in the worst possible way; by making all of the other character more despicable and more repugnant than him. Nothing in Hannibal Rising works, and it provides nothing of value to the Lecter sage.
Aug 05, 2011I'm starting to notice a bit of a trend. We have these awesome, dark, gritty characters who have served as brooding icons for many years and then we get a backstory that crowbars samurais in, from out of no where and then everything starts to corn up. First it was Batman and now it's Hannibal Lecter. Of course, Hannibal Lecter's an entirely different type of dark, so whereas everyone can get over Batman's cheesy backstory (As overrated as the "Nolan Batman" series is, I have to agree that I can get over that) Lecter's backstory completely dilutes the darkness, brilliance and mystery that made him so chilling. Well, I say that now, but after this film cools-down in my memory, I'm gonna think back to that scene in "Hannibal" where he casually escorts a strapped-down man to a balcony, eviscerates him and then hangs him off of the balcony so his guts will fall out and think differently. Still, at the moment, I'm not really feeling the chill anymore, but that doesn't mean that this is a bad film. It just means that the storytelling is really messy, which it is and in a variety of ways. Of course, that's not the films only flaws, as it also suffers from a lack of immediate development, unengaging points, a few blatant hints to the other films and a pretty corny second half that comes down to a mildly cop-out ending. Getting more into the story, it does deviate from the rest of the Thomas Harris series tremendously. It's certainly not suppose to feel like another edition to the series, but this tone is completely unrecognizable. The tension is down and that greatly contributes to dilution of the darkness behind the franchise. It was the mystery and horror behind Hannibal Lecter that made him so compelling and for them to just make up execuses for him damages his greatest attributes. It's easy to recover from this, but if you kick-off the series with this, then chances are you're going to get very thrown-off. Of course, I'de be lying if I said that I didn't find this story deeply compelling. Although it does kill most of the mystery, this is an extremely fascinating study on how the maniac we all know and - to an extent - love came to be and much credit for that must go to the man lucky enough to don the icon's name and tell his story, but more on him later. Yes, the film is far from flawless, but it does still carry great strengths, including a fine score, fine production designs, some decent visual effects when ever present, as well as great cinematography that really captures the film's grit. Of course, what actually does make this film good, other than the deeply compelling story, character-damaging though, it may be, is leading man Gaspard Ulliel as the iconic Hannibal Lecter. Granted, he's no Anthony Hopkins, but when it comes to Hannibal Lecter, then who is? Still, Ulliel sharply captures many of Lecter's characteristics and eerie atmosphere. Lecter's ticks, expressions and mannerisms are all here and Ulliel is generally very believable as the sociopath. True, it's not as magnificent as it is when Hopkins does it, but that's the point. This young Hannibal doesn't quite have enough experience to be the more subtle and ominous force that he is now, so Ulliel is burdened with the task of making this unstable budding maniac balanced perfectly to where the Hannibal character is believable, not just as sociopath in general, but as someone who could eventually transform into the man we all know now. He succeeds and is one of, if not the main reason why this film is so immersive. Overall, "Hannibal Rising" is a messily-told story that damages much of the mystery behind its icon, but with a gritty look and excellent leading performance by Gaspard Ulliel as everyone's favorite sociopath, it ultimately stands as a compelling and fascinating study on how the iconic Hannibal Lecter came to be.Cameron J Super Reviewer
Feb 10, 2011It's hard to ignore the fact that "Hannibal Rising" (both the novel and the film) were made with the best of intentions. Shedding light on the backstory of such an iconic villain is a lofty goal. The film features good acting, clear direction and nice cinematography. But for me, the overall story, while plausible, just does not do anything for me. The biggest reason is that it all makes so much sense. There are no surprises here. The progression of Hannibal Lecter is very straightforward and obvious. For attentive viewers there are nods to the next three films sprinkled throughout this one, which I found a little cheap. In the end, the worst crime "Hannibal Rising" commits is that it's boring. Like I said, everything is so clearly drawn out that all the mystery of Hannibal is taken away and there is nothing left to pull you in.
Dec 28, 2010Not only an unnecessary prequel but also terribly written: overlong, filled with clichés and ridiculous dialogue, and failing to depict the character's evolution to become a monster in a believable way - and Gaspard Ulliel is absolutely awful.Carlos M Super Reviewer