Starring: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mary-Lousie Parker, Tyler Patrick Jones, Anthony Heald
Directed by Brett Ratner
Based on the Novel by Thomas Harris
Run Time: 124 min
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Drama
Release Date: October 4, 2002
My Score: 6.5 out of 10
Will Graham (Norton) is pulled out of retirement, caused by his capture of Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) three years before, to help the FBI track down the serial killer known as the “Tooth Fairy” (Fiennes). But Will is soon forced to work with Dr. Lecter and face the demon from his past to discover the identity of the “Tooth Fairy” before he kills again.
I wasn’t sure what to expect after watching The Silence of the Lambs as I knew it would be very hard for the prequel to live up to the standard set by the first film. But I was impressed with Red Dragon, although it didn’t have the amazing performances of Silence I found the movie overall a lot more thrilling. This was mainly due to the more intense plot line that had a lot more action to it then Silence, where it was more of a subtle horror, Red Dragon was a bit more in your face. This time around, the killer was a main character and had at least half of the time on screen, and you got more of his side of the story showing more of his madness versus Hanniabl and Clarice making assumptions about him. You still had that aspect of the movie with Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal and Edward Norton as Will Graham, which was interesting, but it lacked the chemistry that Jodie Foster and Hopkins had in the original. But overall for the role of Will Graham, I thought Norton was a good fit for the role and he did a good job with it.
As mentioned, the plot was a lot freakier this time. You saw murders, you had the killer searching out Graham and his victims through out the film, and that absolutely terrifying scene with Phillip Seymour Hoffman, which you know is going to end badly from the second it starts. Just truly terrifying, which is why I found this one more thrilling than the first film. The plot was a lot more involved with more characters which helped to, as Silence only had Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter for 90% of the film, where as this one had a whole supporting cast with some great performances. Notably, to Phillip Seymour Hoffman for playing the part who has the living crap scared out of him, and then to Emily Watson as the blind lover of the serial killer who is unable to tell what she has gotten herself into until it is far too late.
A more in your face thrilling ride than The Silence of the Lambs, but lacking the stellar performances, Red Dragon is a great horror thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat for sure!