In Red Dragon we learned who he was. In Silence of the Lambs, we learned how he did it. Now comes the most chilling chapter in the saga of Hannibal Lecter - the one that answers the most elusive question of all - why?
"I hope you don't mind. I would have used a butcher knife, but the sword seemed so appropriate."
- Hannibal Lecter
I have to admit, when I heard they were making a prequel to Silence of the Lambs
and Red Dragon
, I was pissed. Not only am I opposed to remakes or classic horror films, but I'm also opposed to prequels. Don't get me wrong, Red Dragon
turned out quite well, but most prequels are doomed to failure.
Then came the shocker... this film is actually pretty good! With all the bitching and whining I did, I actually enjoyed viewing it. There are some things throughout the film which I would've done a bit differently, but we'll get to that later.
The Hannibal Rising
DVD was sent to me months ago, it had been sitting on my desk with young Hannibal Lecter staring me in the face, day in and day out. I'll admit, I have a hard time putting remakes and prequels into my DVD player. Not that it would be hard, I have a TV, DVD and VHS on both sides of my monitor. (I love my office) But, I continued to procrastinate. Then I began reviewing Hannibal and my interest in Hannibal Lecter sparked again. So I gave in... and enjoyed myself.
The Gory Good: The beginning of the film contains multiple war scenes/battles with the Nazis and Russians from WW2. These were done perfectly. I would even go as far as saying they were on the same level as Saving Private Ryan. All vehicles, uniforms and terrain were identical to the war, which is obviously the only way your going to buy into the scenes, but these were executed extraordinarily well. Director, Peter Webber, applied a greenish blue hue over the war scenes, making them seem more menacing and vintage. This technique was also utilized by Gore Verbinski in his version of The Ring.
The scenery through the film is breathtaking. The castles, forests and fields of France and the Czech Republic were the perfect choice for the filmmakers to pursue. It gives the film it's much needed dosage of authenticity. It wouldn't have worked so well if young Hannibal Lecter was skipping through a cornfield in Minnesota.
The Bloody Bad: First and foremost, casting Gaspard Ulliel as Hannibal was a mistake. Just take a look at his appearance. He's about a foot taller than Anthony Hopkins and his face is long and slender, unlike Anthony's more roundish features. Not only do they look nothing alike, but Gaspard Ulliel doesn't portray Hannibal correctly. It's obvious he watched the first three films and decided to use Hannibal's menacing stare... alot. Anthony Hopkins can glance at you and burn a hole through your chest cavity, Gaspard Ulliel couldn't if he wore a pair of Wal-Mart lazar sunglasses.
I feel the character of Lady Murasaki was written in for no other purpose than to provide the Samurai face shield that conspicuously resembles Lector's face guard from the earlier films. Oh yeah, and Lecter was a Samurai in training. Laughable.
Slaughter/Carnage/Butchery: Plenty of death throughout the film. Seems as though every character in the film knows that the cheeks of humans are the most tender and delicious. Strange.
One of the best murders is an ex-nazi being decapitated. The rope is fastened around his neck, rope tied to horse saddle, horse runs away, bye bye gourd.
Tits and Ass:
Nothing. This is Horror damnit! Show the T &A!
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- Actors screen tested for the role of Hannibal include: Hayden Christensen, Macaulay Culkin, Hugh Dancy, Rupert Friend, Dominic Cooper,Tom Sturridge, and Tom Payne.
- Thomas Newman was considered as a possible composer for this film.
- A fake severed head and a rubber penis were stolen from the set.
- Peter Webber wanted Mikael Persbrandt for the role of the soldier who eats Hannibal Lecter's little sister, but Persbrandt had at that time already signed on for another film, and was busy with a play in Sweden.
- The bugdet for the film was $50,000,000 but only brought in $27,667,947.
- Filmed in France, Lithuania and the Czech Republic.