"Lurid Tale with Some Literate Pretensions"
HANNIBAL RISING is another prequel in the Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter series about a clever serial killer known for eating parts of his victims.
This new movie tells how Hannibal’s parents were killed in Lithuania during World War II when he was a boy as the Red Army was driving Hitler’s National Socialist troops out of the Baltic States. Hannibal and his little sister, Mischa, are trapped in a frozen cabin near their family’s castle. A small group of starving Nazi sympathizers finds the isolated cabin and decides to kill the two children and eat them (they are surrounded by the Red Army). Hannibal escapes this gruesome fate, but not Mischa.
Eight years later, Hannibal escapes from the Soviet Communist orphanage that has taken over his family castle. He goes to France to find an uncle, but when he gets there, he finds his uncle is dead and has left his beautiful Asian wife, Lady Murasaki, in charge of his nice estate. She kindly shelters Hannibal, but Hannibal is bent on revenge against the men who murdered his sister. He also takes out his anger by brutally murdering a butcher who insulted his aunt.
Eventually, by the late 1950s, Hannibal discovers that the men he wants are living comfortably in France, where they own a couple businesses while, at the same time, they run a criminal white slave trade of imprisoned young women. After a couple murders by Hannibal, the remaining men discover who’s after them. They take action against Hannibal while a police inspector tries to solve the murders and put Hannibal behind bars. Of course, in this movie, Hannibal always cannibalizes a part of his victims, as a symbolic act of revenge for his sister.
HANNIBAL RISING creates sympathy for Hannibal because of what happened to his sister. There are, however, several moments where Hannibal is called a monster and where the policeman and his aunt advise him against revenge and in favor of letting the police obtain justice for his sister. In one climactic scene, his aunt urges him to forgive the men who killed Mischa, but Hannibal yells, “Never!” The movie also contains brief anti-Communist content showing some of the oppressive nature of the Soviet Union’s control over Eastern Europe. Thus, the movie takes a stand against the monstrosities of our modern, so-called “enlightened” age. All of this gives the movie a literate tone.
Even so, however, when you come right down to it, HANNIBAL RISING is a lurid tale of murder, cannibalism and revenge. The violence is excessive and, at times, gruesome, and there is brief foul language. Finally, there is some romantic tension between Hannibal and his widowed aunt by marriage, who is older than he.
(B, AC, L, VVV, S, N, A, D, MM) Light moral worldview where policeman and woman try to stop young man from taking brutal revenge on starving National Socialist sympathizers who murdered and cannibalized his sister 12 to 15 years ago during World War II, with light anti-Communist content showing some of the oppressive nature of the Soviet Union and its Communist control over Eastern Europe; four or five obscenities, including two or three "f" words (one sounds muffled so it's hard to tell); some very strong violence such as man carves initial in another man's chest while he screams in pain, rope tied around man's neck by a tree is also attached to a horse and that results in another beheading, long shot of man biting cheeks of one victim to eat them, man is beheaded by sword, images of two heads without bodies, and some strong violence such as man deliberately drowned, implied cannibalism, war violence with explosions, people shot, implied execution of a Jew by some National Socialists or neo-socialist fascists during World War II, man stabbed to death, man's hand stabbed with fork, man in water crushed between boat and brick wall, another explosion, etc.; a kiss and implied romantic tension between young man and his widowed aunt by marriage and references to white slave trade run by a group of criminals; upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, strong themes of revenge and young man's relative covers up a murder he does for her, murderous criminals kidnap woman and tie her up to stop man hunting them down, and criminals run a white slave trade of women whom they hold prisoner.
HANNIBAL RISING is another prequel in the Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter franchise about a clever serial killer known for eating parts of his victims. Hannibal's aristocratic parents are killed in Lithuania during World War II. Hannibal and his sister, Mischa, barely survive in an isolated cabin during winter. A small criminal group of starving German sympathizers find the cabin. Trapped by the Red Army, they kill Mischa to eat her. Hannibal escapes, only to be put into an oppressive Communist orphanage. Eight years later, he escapes to France, where he is sheltered by his dead uncle's Asian wife. There, Hannibal spends several years learning medicine and tracking down the men who killed his sister to kill them. Meanwhile, a young French policeman is hot on his trail.
HANNIBAL RISING takes a stand against the monster that Hannibal has become and against his gruesome plan of revenge. Still, this is a lurid tale of murder, cannibalism and revenge. The violence is excessive and, at times, gruesome, and there is brief foul language. Also, there is some romantic tension between Hannibal and his widowed aunt by marriage, who is older than he.