Red Dragon
Starring:
Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes
Directed By:
Brett Ratner
Grade
A-

Our favorite Cannibal villain makes a triumphant return in this prequel to Silence of the Lambs. Based on the thrilling novel by Thomas Harris, it follows Will Graham (played by Edward Norton), a young FBI agent who seeks help and advice from Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins, of course) on hunting down serial killers. The beginning sequence shows just how Hannibal was caught and arrested for his cannibal killing ways. The movie starts of fairly gruesome showing Will and Lecter wounding each other numerous times. Aside from preconceived notions of this being your average slasher, it's more of a psychological thriller instead of your generic blood-fest.

Longtime fans will be sad to hear that Agent Starling (played by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs and Julianne Moore in Hannibal) is absent from this film. At first I was a little skeptical towards the new FBI Agent that takes her place, but Edward Norton as Will Graham does a fine job bringing the movie to life. Anthony Hopkins also brings Oscar worthy performance as the infamous Hannibal Lecter. Ralph Fiennes as the movie's main villain (dubbed "The Tooth Fairy") rounds out this fine cast of characters.

After Will Graham's brutal encounter with Hannibal, he decides to retire to his home by the bay with his wife a son. All seems fine and well until an old partner of Graham's asks him if he wants to help in capturing a serial killer known as "The Tooth Fairy". Apparently the whole FBI agency is baffled at this case and Graham is the only one who can solve it (why does this always happen?). So Graham goes along with the offer and investigates a few of the crime scenes and finds a few clues to take down this lunatic. After he realizes he cannot crack this case without Hannibal's help he consults him in his prison cell.

I have always been a big fan of the Lecter series (including the books) but I wasn't too fond of the gruesome depictions of the second film, Hannibal. This film is done more in the style of Silence of the Lambs. In other words, it will be more friendly to your weak stomach, which is a good thing since the plot is well-constructed without the grotesque scenes of violence, as in Hannibal.

Bottom line - it's the most entertaining movie in the series. It even tops the first movie in the series. If you didn't enjoy Manhunter, another movie based on the book, you may find this to be more fun to watch. It's more than worth your time and money.

- - Grandlethal

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