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Hannibal Rising

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By my count, this is this fifth cinematic iteration of Hannibal Lecter, everybody's favorite serial killer and cannibal. Most of us had have our fill, but if you must have one more course ... Peter Webber directs this prequel, an adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel, that purports to uncover the very moment young Hannibal, tragically orphaned during World War II, was twisted from man to man-muncher. It's a scurrilous mix of armchair psychology (apparently evil begets evil), revenge drama, half-hearted war-crimes exposé and a truly inexplicable detour into Japanese exoticism. Gaspard Ulliel, as the emerging Hannibal, is better than this low-renter, as are co-stars Gong Li, Domenic West and Rhys Ifhans. Mostly what you'll remember from this exploitative stew is the buffet of the gruesome murders. (AH)

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