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Red Dragon

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All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Red Dragon

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton
Director: Brett Ratner
Rated: R
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: October 2002
Genres: Drama, Suspense, Horror




Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

He's b-a-a-a-ck! The diabolically irresistible Hannibal Lecter is set to scare you again, not to mention building up a box-office bonanza. Seven years before "The Silence of the Lambs," novelist Thomas Harris wrote "Red Dragon" in which he introduced the forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, along with top FBI investigator Will Graham. (If the story seems familiar, it was made into "Manhunter" (1986), starring Brian Cox, so this is actually a re-make. What the original lacked, however, was Anthony Hopkins, who has made this meaty role indelibly his own.)

The enticing opening sequence explains Lecter's background and his bizarre relationship with intuitive Will Graham (Edward Norton). After a culinary diversion, the plot begins to unfold. With Lecter incarcerated in a hospital for the criminally insane, Graham, over the protests of his wife (Mary-Louise Parker), is lured out of retirement in Florida by his former boss (Harvey Keitel) to use his psychic powers to catch a savage, ritualistic serial killer, Francis Dolarhyde (Ralph Fiennes), a.k.a. The Tooth Fairy, who strikes sleeping families under the full moon. An admirer of Dr. Lecter and the mystic William Blake (whose pen & watercolor drawing, Red Dragon, is on display at the Brooklyn Museum), Dolarhyde becomes involved with a blind co-worker (Emily Watson). So what about Hannibal Lecter? He's a menacing master manipulator, interacting with both Graham and Dolarhyde. Working with Oscar-winning"Silence of the Lambs" scripter Ted Tally and cameraman Dante Spinotti, director Brett Ratner keeps the tension taut - and his casting is impeccable. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Red Dragon" is a suspenseful 8. It's a creepy chiller thriller that evokes Lecter's legendary recipe for death.

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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