Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Ed Norton, Ralph Fiennes,
Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Mary Louise Parker and Philip Seymour
Directed by: Brett Ratner
Writing credits: Thomas Harris (novel)
Ted Tally (screenplay)
doctor is in and serving up his special brand of diabolical
mayhem! As the first few frames of Red Dragon re- joins us with
infamously grandious Dr. Hannibal Lector, he's enjoying an ensemble
of orchestral musicians. We then notice his smug smirk morphs
into a full-scale wince as a mediocre flutist misses a note.
his returning audience, just know this reaction to the salacious
note means the flutist will be over Dr. Lector's for dinner
and not as a guest!
Sure enough in one of the film grandest "inside joke"
moments we are privy to a society snobs' gathering at Dr. Lector's
where the board of the philharmonics in question enjoy a homemade
pate the dear doctor's whipped up, while commenting on the recent
disappearance of their fumbling flutist. We of course roar on
cue as his esteemed diner guests delicately indulge in his gruesome
grub ... pate indeed Dr. Lector.
Hopkins relishes (blatant pun intended) in this third chapter,
(actually a prequel) as the menacing yet witty, evil yet charming,
Dr. Lector. Hopkins is joined by a stellar cast that had me
frothing at the bit to get into the theater. They've wrangled
cutey Ed Norton as FBI agent Will Graham, Studasnarus Rex Ralph
Fiennes ( who will later frolic about tattooed and naked for
our visual delights!) as the crowned villain, Emily Watson does
a dynamic blind woman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman (also to be seen
naked-ish laterBUT nay as dirty thought inducing as delectable
Ralphie) plays a smarmy slouching journalist, Harvey Kietel
dresses up as FBI's Jack Crawford and Mary Louise Parker plays
agent Graham's loving wife. How's that for a tempting gaggle
of thespians? How could it fail? And it doesn't.
Red Dragon indulges the followers of the devilish doctor as
we finally meet the man that caught him. His capturer is FBI
agent Graham (Ed - "I don't want to talk about Keeping
The Faith. F*** off you make a movie then! I worked
with DeNiro"- Norton). His encounters with Dr. Lector actually
cause him to retire from the the Bureau completely.
Agent Graham had a knack for catching serial killers of the
more in-depth, brutal, kind. He was so intelligent in fact,
he even fascinated Dr. Lector (Anthony Hopkins). They almost
became a friends, as he grew closer to discovering the truth
about the helpful Doctors' culinary preferences and extracurricular
when a new bonifide nut case dubbed "The Tooth Fairy"
starts butchering suburban dwellers down to their family pet,
the head FBI honcho, John Crawford (Harvey Keitel) begs agent
Graham to come out of retirement and assist them. They need
his special talents and
actually need him to cozy up to the incarcerated Dr. Lector
for his advise on the matter. See, turns out before Graham snagged
the doctor they collaborated on a few cases and together they're
a powerful crime-solving duo - sick I know. The frazzled FBI
guys figure the two still have a special bond of sorts and they
need them to find the latest madman.
Graham reluctantly agrees. He flies to the first crime scene
and jumps in. Then meets with Lector. Lector cant resist the
praise and also agrees in his own twisted way...
chapter's villain, The Red Dragon, is another creative nightmare
of a serial killer specimen. The Red Dragon is an egomaniac
that believes he is granting his victims a special audience
along his path of metamorphous; to his "becoming."
Yech. He's a twisted demented creep that
happens to live in a ghosts-of-the-past world that makes Norman
Bate's childhood look sedate and relatively abuse free. We never
learn too much, but we get the crystal clear jagged point before
he was The Red Dragon he was an abused boy/man that finally
simply snapped from the relentless pressure.
Graham and Hannibal are racing against time to find this current
incarnation of the devil on earth. He prefers to kill every
full moon. It's his thing. That gives the crime-fighting duo
a mere ten days to stop him.
But wait what's this? Dr. Lector is not being totally Kosher
with the young agent? Hmm.
Norton is fabulous and believable as a man with a special talent
for seeing the evidence others overlook. Ed's a swell actor
anyway - duh - but here he plays off Hannibal with an
honest deep immersion in the character that makes us join him
in his fear and fascination of the certifiable Herr Doctor.
Hopkins is just brilliant, as always. Here is no exception.
I actually enjoyed the last two fully- who didn't love the Ray
Liotta brain-sautéing scene? Tony sparkles as Lector.
Somehow he makes Hannibal likable and gleefully gregarious
in a sarcastic inside joke way. Of course we are in on the jokes
so they are a hoot!
Fiennes plays the bad guy, Red Dragon. Dear god was it hard
to hate him. I mean sure as this whack job Francis Dolarhyde,
The Red Dragon, he's got a "deformity" but people
it is still Ralph Fiennes and he's not under that much makeup.
The filmmakers did set up a scene for those of us in the "Ralph
Fienne's Mansteak Man Fan Club" of worshippers. They had
it spelled out for us, that while he wasn't physically "ugly,"
thanks to years of mental and physical abuse, he believed himself
a monster. But still when Ralph began to show off his ornate
body tattoos via a completely naked and buffed up body I forgot
where I was for a moment or two and drank the man in slowly,
while the tango music of love played softly in my mind and he
and I swayed - him still naked and tattooed - under a tall wispy
Ralph is sticky bun sweet with slurpable gooey
frosting oozing from his delectably tender loins
gals in the film, Emily Watson and Mary Louise Parker are radiant.
Emily Watson plays a blind woman with a rare actor's skill.
She's the one who
well I wont ruin the story. But I will
say she and Ms. Parker are equally mesmerizing and gorgeous
creatures that just top off the great cast.
is supercreepiousloiusly delicious! The doctor is in and he's
serving up his special brand of terror and grizzly goulash for
recommendation: Smores and Chianti