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Running Time:
2 hours

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for strong grisly violent content and some language/sexual references

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This gruesome tale of revenge has very little shock or suspense.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Deleted scenes with optional commentary; Hannibal Lecter: The Origin of Evil; Commentary by director Peter Webber and producer Martha de Laurentiis; Designing Horror and Elegance with production designer Allan Starski; Theatrical and teaser trailers; Language: English 5.1; Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Hannibal Rising
Thomas Harris' cool, calculating and cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter is back. First introduced in 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs," was followed by "Hannibal," in 2001 and "Red Dragon," in 2002 which was a prequel to the series as well as a remake of "Manhunter" 1986's lesser-known cult movie.

"Hannibal Rising" directed by Peter Webber ("Girl with a Pearl Earring"), tells of Hannibal's early years and the life-altering events that turned him into the monster he ultimately becomes. It is also the first of the series that does not feature Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal the cannibal.

The young French actor Gaspard Ulliel ("A Very Long Engagement") proves to be a worthy replacement for Hopkins. Without copying the Academy Award winner, Ulliel gives an excellent performance as the troubled young man who could conceivably grow into the adult savage murderer.

As a frightened child in Lithuania, during WWII, Hannibal witnessed the deaths of his parents and the cannibalistic slaughter of his beloved little sister. Now eighteen years of age, Hannibal has vowed to find the men responsible for his family's murders and seek revenge. Escaping from the miserable boarding school that had been his family’s home, Hannibal flees to France to find his uncle, but when he arrives he discovers that his uncle has died, leaving his mysterious Japanese widow, (Gong Li "Memoirs of a Geisha"), who is kind enough to take him in. The two of them become kindred spirits, as they are both dealing with their own personal anguish. Her family had been killed by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Showing an aptitude for science Hannibal is accepted into medical school, but Lady Murasaki is not quite prepared for the early signs of Hannibal's rage and savagery. Once Hannibal commits his first gruesome killing, there is no turning back. As the main villain Vladis Grutas, Rhys Ifans ("Vanity Fair") is smug, smarmy and altogether evil. It's a pleasure to see him get his just comeuppance.

Screenwriter Thomas Harris takes his latest story in a new direction, avoiding the obvious ways that often describe how a man becomes a serial killer. But, by humanizing Hannibal Lecter and giving him a reason to go after his first victims, it loses some of the mystery that always made the character seem so cold-blooded. The film is a basically just a gruesome tale of terror and revenge complete with plenty of blood and mayhem, but it fails to be either very suspenseful or shocking.

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