The biggest letdown with the fifth – and by far least – entry in the Hannibal Lecter canon is not a lack of blood and gore. What stings is the absence of scares and a shallow, clunky script (penned by source-author Thomas Harris) that ditches psychological exploration in favour of hasty explanation (“He’s monstrous!” one policeman says, helpfully). Thus, prolonging Lecter’s avenging-angel kill-spree by 14 minutes for the Uncut Version doesn’t mask Rising’s sclerotic centre.
Gaspard Ulliel and Gong Li – young Lecter and his widowed aunt, respectively – are left stranded trying to squeeze a third dimension into their characters. Rhys Ifans, however, has no excuse for his sub-panto turn as chief Nazi scumbag. As for the extra gristle (including Ulliel spitting out a chunk of cheek), it merely feels like DVD padding.