Monday, October 3, 2011
The Saw franchise is the most obvious of what The Silence of the Lambs brought to the cinematic world under the guise of entertainment. Personally I don't find human beings being diced and sliced, no matter how grievous their sins appealing, or even remotely entertaining. Worse still is the premise of a vigilante who devises all sorts of gross and despicable ways to deal with these sinners. No, the whole idea doesn't appeal because a vigilante of this sort is worse than those he seems he has the right to murder. He is playing at god, and whilst I'm an atheist, I don't like the angle.
Worse still is how the cinematic world has embraced both Jigsaw and Hannibal Lecter. To me they embody all the real social ills of humanity. I can't bring myself to idolise them or their sickness as a form of entertainment. They aren't even anti-heroes as even an anti-hero can have merits. You only have to look at Clint Eastwood's two iconic anti-heroes to see that. Both Dirty Harry Callaghan and The Man With No Name have an appeal of sorts. What possible anti-hero status has a sick minded vigilante like Jigsaw got??
The problem is things got worse with the absolutely unsettling Hostel. That is a film that had me asking serious question of myself and cinema goers. Honestly what real merit does this film bring to cinema or the world of entertainment??????????? I walked out at the end of that film shaking my head that cinema had been dragged down to such a level. Horror as a genre can from time to time throw up one of these gorno/torture porn films. But overall it somehow avoids the Saw/Hostel nonsense and goes for frights or straight out silly gore. I love zombie movies for the silly gore as it is meant in fun. But Hostel delves into some real murky areas that I'd rather not be taken into.
And we owe it all to The Silence of the Lambs. As a gore film it really went beyond just a serial killer film. Watch Fritz Lang's masterpiece M as a juxtaposition. There is no gore blood gut blood splattering blood spraying blood sawing blood cutting blood crushing blood viscerating blood hacking in sight. And yet it is still the greatest serial murderer film ever made. It is a perfect example of how the unseen and alluded to are more chilling than the seen. To be sure there were graphic violent films before, but The Silence of the Lambs somehow crossed a line.
So you may why did I bother watching Hannibal Rising if I'm so anti the premise. Well I felt depressed after the New Zealand Warriors went down 24-10 to the Manly Sea Eagles. And two I was somewhat insomniac. But believe me as much as I dislike Hannibal Lecter I absolute hate the film that played before this more, the dreadfully awful CGI mess 2012. It is one of three films that have really raised my ire to volcanic levels within the last 2-3 years! Both The Prince of Persia and Super 8 are the other two that I have spat vast amounts of venom on for being so lousy.
But what really got me interested in Hannibal Rising was the start. As a few artillery shells started to fall and the sub-title Lithuania 1944 came up my interest piqued. Honestly it is when seeing a few WW2 era T-34/85's are the highlight of the whole film. But for me they were and it was fantastic to see these famous and iconic tanks in motion. I even loved the Stuka scene even though it was a CGI butchery. But overall for such an ordinary film the combat scenes were quite cool with an authentic feel. But from there the film fell off very quickly.
The problem is compounded by its 120 minute running time. It is far too long for a revenge film because it seems to take forever before Hannibal gets going. Even when he does the guys he goes out to kill off takes him/the film too long to complete. Honestly I felt bored and even when he had one of the victims the scene was dragged out to the point of mind numbing boredom. Get on with it I kept yelling at the telly!! The deaths are unimaginative even by a gorno/torture porn film which compounds the boredom....oh, that is when he actually gets around to killing someone off.
Young French actor Gaspard Ulliel at times captures the essence of Hannibal but the script just fails to let the monster out. I didn't feel the menace of Anthony Hopkins Hannibal at all. So on both counts the film fails. As a revenge film it is too long and short on revenge to be any good. And as a Hannibal Lecter film it fails because Hannibal just isn't scary or chilling enough. As a Hannibal film I believe this rates as one of the franchise's worst. I can see why, but even as a stand alone film it doesn't do anything. It is overall completely dull.
This really is a non-entity of a film. Whilst I don't like the premise it is neither gruesome or scary enough. It may be a back story but at 120 minutes it is too long on wind and too short on action. The only word I can describe it as is dull. Dull dull dull dull dull, and nothing else. Really it is a film to forgo. That is unless it plays late on a Sunday night and you have a case of insomnia, because Hannibal Rising isn't worth wasting your time or money on.
IMDB has this with 6/10. I think that very generous and struggle to give it more than 3/10 just for being so dull dull dull dull dull!!!!
Click here for a synopsis and more:
And click here for the sort of thing I mean by the hero worship Hannibal Lecter has gathered. A fucking fan site for christs sake on a sick cannibal!!