When his mother and father are killed in the collateral damage of a Russian Tank and Nazi plane doing battle Hannibal Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel) and his sister try to run but end up prisoners of a group of hungry soldiers who decide to eat his sister. Eight years later Hannibal goes on a quest to find Lady Murasaki Shikibu (Gong Li), the widow of his uncle who teaches him how to use a sword. But Hannibal has one thing on his mind, tracking down the barbarians who feasted on his sister so that he can eat their faces. Mean while Inspector Popil (Dominic West) is on the trail of Hannibal as he leaves a trail of blooded bodies behind where ever he goes.
Simple fact; the Hannibal Lecter movies worked because of Anthony Hopkins delivering a captivating performance as Lecter. The way he made him intelligent but vile, kind but cruel and so much more is what kept me and many others watching. It is part of the reason why "Hannibal" the movie didn't work because it wasn't about the intelligence of Hannibal. Now you would have thought that all those who had been involved with the movies over the years would have realised this and cancelled any plan to do an origins story before a cent was spent on it. But nope, someone green lighted "Hannibal Rising" and made a big mistake in doing so.
Now for me "Hannibal Rising" is a movie strewn with issues starting with the fact of course this movie is all about how Hannibal came to be the intelligent cannibal but who cares as a kid on a vendetta no matter how driven is not going to be as entertaining as an intelligent killer getting under people's skin with his smarmy mannerisms. So the fact we watch as Hannibal for all sense and purpose dedicates himself to revenge is not that interesting or entertaining and matters are made worse by the simple fact that Gaspard Ulliel is no Anthony Hopkins and whilst I am sure he was told to put his own spin on the character what he does is simply bland.
I tell you what about the only positive I can come up with whilst watching "Hannibal Rising" is that it has a sense of production about it and you get a sense some money was lavished on this. But sadly no matter how nice looking it is it can't make up for the storyline, acting or characterisations.
What this all boils down to is that "Hannibal Rising" is a movie which simply should have never been made for the simple reason the character of Hannibal Lecter couldn't have an origins story as it is who he is which is entertaining not who we was or why he became a cannibal.