Hannibal Rising (2007)
Second prequel to Silence of the Lambs, this one takes the route of 'origins' movie. Interestingly, it did not have the words 'The Beginning' in the title, and thus is safe in my books. Hm. I should probably just rule out origins movies altogether. But I want to see the Wolverine movie. Okay, no origin movies not starring Hugh Jackman. How about that? It's my new rule.
As one would expect, this movie shows how Hannibal Lecter got to be Hannibal Lecter. It starts with him as a young boy (Aaron Thomas) living in Lithuania towards the end of the second world war. His parents are killed, I forget how, and he and his little sister must forge out a living in this cabin. Then they get discovered by some soldiers who capture them and eat the little girl. Hannibal is apparently deeply scarred by this.
So anyway, he grows up into Gaaspard Ulliel and goes to live with his gorgeous Japanese aunt (Gong Li, honestly, one of the most beautiful actresses to grace my eyes in a long while. She should be in every movie) in Paris and goes to medical school and so forth. But he also develops a taste (heh) for murdering people at some point, and then decides to go on a quest to hunt down and kill all of the guys involved in the death and consumption of his sister.
We also learn some interesting things about the good doctor, like, for example, he's a samurai. Weird, I know. Also, he was into wearing that weird little mask thing way before he was forced to wear it in Silence. Apparently... hm. I was going to write somethign clever about that but I can't think of anything that makes any kind of sense. Huh.
It's interesting to see how much the character changes in the different movies (I don't want to say he 'evolves' because that generally signifies improvement). In Silence of the Lambs he's a pretty cool guy; in Hannibal he's a bloated fop; in Manhunter he's Brian Cox. And in this movie he's a whiny little bitch disturbingly reminiscent of Anakin Skywhatever in the Star Wars prequels.
I mean honestly. He's overreacting a little bit. Yeah, they ate his sister but come on. That's totally not the worst thing that happened during the war. Okay, they probably ate a bunch of other people and that guy was a real asshole but, ya know... take a break eh?
The other thing which got me is that Hannibal, though he acts like a fucking psycho in this, is really only motivated by revenge. It sort of makes you wonder, like... what exactly motivated him to kill after this? Like, killing the guys who ate your sister makes a certain degree of sense, I guess. I wouldn't do it, but I can see why someone would. But that is really quite different from just offing people because you don't like them. It's a completely different thing, in fact.
So the logic in this movie is kind of stupid.
I dunno, this movie really sucked on a lot of levels. Not just because it really didn't make a whole lot of sense, but also because the acting sucked. Mostly that of Gaspard Ulliel who I remember from Paris Je T'aime. He was watchable in that so I'm thinking maybe he does better in French than English. But the guy playing the main bad guy was also pretty bad. I don't know who he is, I think his name was Rhys Ifans but I'm actually not sure, but he kinda looks like Peter Stormare.
I blame the weird accents for this mostly. Okay, Anthony Hopkins has one of the weirdest accents ever in the first movie (what is that?), but when you look at the cast of this movie, hardly anyone is playing the nationality they actually are. For example, Gaspard Ulliel is French, playing Lithuanian. Dominic West is British playing French. Rhys Ifans is British playing Lithuanian (I guess). Gong Li is Chinese playing Japanese. They couldn't even get that right for fuck sake. And they're all speaking fucking English.
No wonder it comes out a fucking mess. Honest to God, they really should have cast The Malkovich in there somewhere, just for humour's sake.
Aaanyway, this movie sucked. The only good thing I can say for it is that it actually looked pretty cool and never really fell into the realm of using really shaky hand held camera motions to convey bad stuff happening. I always find that cheap. Yeah, the movie looked sort of like it was set in an alternate dimension of sorts which was kind of neat.
But other than that, it sucked. Blah.
Directed by: Peter Webber. Written by: Thomas Harris, based on his novel. Starring: Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Dominic West, Rhys Ifans.