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Hannibal Rising

By Ian Grey | Posted 2/14/2007

Acting as if swathing his movie in excess craft, art direction, and gowns by Fendi will distract from Hannibal Rising being nothing more than a two-hour origins story of an already way-played-out bogeyman, Peter Webber (Girl With a Pearl Earring) ends up with nothing more than a standard revenge movie under the delusion that it's The Piano. In World War II Poland, wee Hannibal Lecter and his sis are taken hostage by some Nazi scumbags in deepest winter, leading to said scumbags eating the young girl. And so much for psychological depth: The rest of the movie follows a now-homicidal 20ish Hannibal (Gaspard Ulliel) grow from creepy teen to creepier Paris-based med student staying with his way-hot aunt (convincingly played by Gong Li) and plotting the deaths of his childhood antagonists. Like any revenge movie, this exists solely for us to see how bloody a bitch payback will be--with the spurious added attractions of just when Hannibal will make with the world-renowned people eating. Alternately silly and stilted, the movie will be especially despised by certain folks for presenting Gong Li in a skintight fascist-chic leather bodysuit and immediately cutting away. Now that's cruelty.

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