Monday, October 3, 2011

Hannibal Rising

 I must admit to being very much a non-fan of Hannibal Lecter and the whole franchise he has spawned. The Silence of the Lambs is rated as one of the AFI's Top 100 films but I personally don't like it!! It is not that I think it over rated as I do think it have some real merits. But as a film it inspired the whole gorno genre which I despise with a vengeance.

 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!!


  1. Can't agree more with your review. If this wasn't so overlong, this could have been a decent revenge flick.

  2. It was a bit of a slog as is the book but not that bad.

  3. Really great write up Brent although your hatred of this film is very mild compared to Super 8 ;-)

    I have Silence of the Lambs in my collection but I have never watched it - it just seems like too much hard work.

    I am with you all the way on the gorno craze - it is not for me at all :-(

    I had to have a nosey at the website though!

    Hope there is something worth watching for your Thursday night trip to the cinema


  4. Yeah Ty toooooooooo long is its main problem. If it had stcuk to the revenge and compacted it more ten it may have worked but this bored me.

    AL...nevere rad the book. i don't likeethe whole Hannibal Lecter buzz so haven't bothered. I thought this a poor film not bad...just dull.

    Karina...The Silence of the Lambs worked well on the big screen being moody and scary but I'm not a fan because of the genre it opened up. Gorno has pushed the limts for me and ijust can't believe people flock to cinemas to watch thatsort of turgidness.
    Thursday shall be full of choice even though it is the start of school holidays and with it The Smurfs and Twilight! I think the new 3-d version of The Lion king and Johnnny English shall more than satisfy me this week!

  5. Christ is Twilight back already :-( I just can't sit through another one!

    I never would have guessed that SOTL started the gorno craze - interesting.

    The Lion King is my choice this weekend too! Enjoy!

  6. Yep its to milk it for all its worth!! I have never, never sat through one and never, never will!!
    I have never sat through The Lion King! I can't remeber why thatis so this week is the chance to put that right.
    If you TSOTL you'll see that is where the gorno craze started. It is graphic and perverse. But Saw and Hostel are far worse, but they owe it to Hannibal Lecter.