Young `Hannibal' is unnecessary

review c

February 09, 2007|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

In one of the few playful moments in Hannibal Rising, the evil genius with an advanced taste for humans dons a samurai mask (don't ask) that resembles the face guard Doctor Lecter wore to keep his fangs off innocent flesh in Silence of the Lambs. The image makes no sense, but it's kind of funny. Most of the movie makes too much sense and is no fun at all.

Hannibal Rising (an inadvertently uproarious title) suggests this serial-killer franchise is on its last legs. "Secret origin" stories used to appear in old-time comics and pulp series right after a character clicked with the public and fans were yearning to know more. Only recently have origin stories become ways to "reinvent" a hero or villain for new generations, as in the movies Batman Begins and Superman Returns.

Hannibal Rising (The Weinstein Co.) Starring Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Dominic West. Directed by Peter Webber. Rated R. Time 117 minutes.

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