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Red Dragon
The FBI agent who originally captured the elusive Dr. Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter must come out of retirement and confront his former nemesis to capture a killer known as the Tooth Fairy.

Starring Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Emily Watson...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Oct 6, 2002
"Red Dragon" puts Hannibal Lecter back where he belongs: behind the glass window. The second movie in the series ("Hannibal") had the good doctor running all over. At times it worked: we got to see a classic character in his true element. Most of the time it was just ludicrous (remember the man-eating pigs?).

The latest movie in the Hannibal saga tones down the level of ridiculous violence to a near-nil (just that flaming wheelchair scene. . .) and takes the focus off Hannibal himself. And that's the way it should be. Hannibal Lecter is a character that is most effective in a supporting role. You wait for the next scene with him in it.

The problem I have with "Red Dragon" is that there is too much of Hannibal Lecter. Hopkins is still very effective as the entity of pure evil, but the script doesn't give Lecter much to do. Remember the end of "Silence," how Lecter wormed his way into a position that would set him free? Remember how the movie built up to two seperate climaxes involving the two main characters in different spots? It was wonderful, wasn't it?

The sole reason Lecter is in this movie as much as he is is so Hopkins can get top billing. As a character, Lecter's best scene comes in the very beginning of the movie. The rest of the time he is a consultant (a very creepy one, but still . . .). What really bothered me was the way that the script tacked on a second climax to what I thought would have been a very effective ending. Why was this done? To give Hannibal a larger impact on the story. The movie conforms to the character, making him much more central than he should be.

I say either give Hannibal a face or two to munch on or keep in further in the background. When all is said and done, Lecter is still creepy, but there just isn't enough for him to do here.

But the main focus of the movie isn't on Lecter at all. It's on a different killer known as the Tooth Fairy to some, the Great Red Dragon to himself, and he kills families. Edward Norton is called in as a consultant and ends up being a field agent (of course) and using Lecter to get into the killer's mind. That's the gist of it.

But the ending, as I said before, started off great. The "first ending" is unexpected and works quite well to cap off a decent story about an intriguing villain. But the "second ending". . . well I talked about that already.

All in all, "Red Dragon" has its share of problems, but that's mainly because it will inevitably be compared to (the far superior) "Silence of the Lambs." As a stand-alone thriller, however, it works well, with some great images (check out the hellish look of the house in the first ending) and standout performances. If you're looking for a good thriller, check it out. If your looking for a "Silence"-esque masterpiece, you'll be looking for a very long time.
Oct 9, 2002
"Red Dragon" is the third film in the Hannibal Lector saga and it's the best, based on strong performances from Emily Watson, Ralph Finnes, Edward Norton, and Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector once again.

Seeing Hopkins playing Lector again is half the fun of this film. I never care much about the trilogy. "Silence of the Lambs" is a good movie, but not Oscar-calbur. "Hannibal" is fairly good as the film is carried by Hopkins' good performance. And "Red Dragon," is very strong on the supporting performance by Finnes as "Red Dragon" and Watson as a blind woman who falls for Finnes.

Norton is excellent as the FBI agent on the hut for "Red Dragon" with help from Lector. "Dragon" is scary, but good.

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