As the body count piles up, along with Hannibal's growing culinary prowess, Inspector Popil is hot on his trail. With insightful observations like "It's vanilla. He reacts to nothing. It's monstrous," when viewing Hannibal's polygraph test, and "What is he now? There’s not a word for it yet. For lack of a better word, we’ll call him a monster," I had no doubt the inspector would not get his man.
Hannibal eventually tracks down the men who ate his little sister, Mischa. Either beheading them, or drowning them, or munching on them, there's little revulsion generated by the whole mess. There is no tension, no suspense, and amazingly, no hint of that complex web of genius and madness shown in the adult Hannibal.
In the climactic confrontation between the man who led the others in their hunger-driven madness to consume Hannibal's little sister, and the revenge-consumed Hannibal himself, the resolution is oddly passionless. Even when we find out why Hannibal is guilt-ridden also, the revelation is drowned in the good-looking but empathy-lacking scene. His cry of "you ate my sister," didn't help that scene much either.
Even the extra featurettes on the DVD are glossy-nice to look at, but lack real bite. For the hardcore horror fan, they offer no insight and no interesting background information. They're brochure-quality promotion pieces, not in-depth discussions of the film.
Hannibal Rising is like one of those plastic fake food displays that look so mouth-watering good. Just don't shove one of them in your mouth expecting a great taste and texture experience, and don't watch Hannibal Rising expecting a shuddering, emotive experience either. Plastic is just plastic.