Monday, March 12, 2007

Movie Review: Hannibal Rising

3/5, or 6.5/10.

Since Hannibal Rising reveals the beginning of Hannibal Lecter's cannibalistic tendencies, people who have never watched a single Hannibal film, such as me, should be able to get it. And that indeed is what the people behind the scenes try to achieve, although it is clear the full impact of revelation will only be felt by those who have followed this cinematic series faithfully.

23-year-old French actor Gaspard Ulliel plays an equally young Hannibal. His performance per se was excellent, conveying a bitter hateful darkness in his smirking eyes. That said, the characteristic of the cold, cool killer, has become quite a stereotype in such thriller films (I don't understand why people put it under horror. There not one single jump scare, nor hair-raising moment. It's more gore, where people stare open-mouthed in speechless horror, but I believe the "horror" used in this sense carries a different meaning to that of the genre).

Gong Li, as usual I must say, is abit stiff. It's probably not her bad acting, that's probably her style. Not a very good style for an actress to have, but well, she keeps the show running nicely, complementing it at times.

That said about the two main characters, I find more flaws with the script, chiefly the slow pace. Even with someone taking their sweet sweet time to exact revenge, there could have been more action. Munich is a good example, although they didn't have all the time in the world like he did. The sub-climaxes had us cringing from the gore (not too sick but deliberately and gleefully slow), not sitting on the edge of our seats neglecting our popcorn. Another thing is they first show that his younger sister of 5 or 6 was killed and eaten to survive during the World War 2 when German soldiers hid in their house, thus, we infer, sparking off his fetish for human flesh. The whole show, however, seems to focus on him exacting revenge on the 4 soldiers who killed his sister for food, with cannibalism as more of a foreshadowing theme. I feel they weren't clear enough on which aspect they wanted to focus on, or if they had wanted to do both, they failed. Would have been better to concentrate on one if they couldn't handle both. If these two points have been fixed, or even just the pacing had been fixed, I believe this film could easily hit an 8.5 on my scale.

Pity. But it was a good attempt anyways.


Katherina Sands said...

Nice take on the hannibal. You make a good reviewer, quite funny too.

Link me too,

Renhao said...

thank you! look forward to more reviews, cos i'm getting into this stuff.