Hannibal Rising

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Hannibal Rising ★½ 2007 (R)

How Hannibal became a cannibal. Harris adapts his own novel but the fiendish spark is gone. A teenaged Hannibal (Ulliel) and his family fall prey to vicious roving thugs in 1944 (his plump little sister suffers an especially nasty fate). He's then taken in by his widowed Japanese aunt, Lady Murasaki (Li), who introduces him to the ways of the samurai and a handy stash of swords. Hannibal then tracks his quarry and dispatches them in gory ways while practicing his supercilious sneer. A distinct comedown for a franchise character. 117m/C DVD . US GB FR Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Rhys Ifans, Kevin McKidd, Dominic West, Aaron Thomas, Helena-Lia Tachovska; D: Peter Webber; W: Thomas Harris; C: Benjamin Davis; M: Ilan Eshkeri, Shigeru Umebay Ashi.