With Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel, Mary-Louise Parker, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Directed by Brett Ratner

If you've seen
Manhunter over a decade ago (Michael Mann's adaptation of Harris's Red Dragon), a lot of this will be of little surprise. Red Dragon is of course Harris's first book introducing Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins). The retired & cracked agent (Norton) that put him away gets called back in to confront him with interviews in order to stop a killer from striking again. His run-in with Lecter before his incarceration was everything but pleasant. Where Manhunter focussed more on the agent and his psychological embroilment into the character of the murderers he profiles, Red Dragon obviously shifts the relationship to that of him and the now cult figure Lecter - in order to extract clues to finding the killer whose parallel story gives the viewer little chance of falling into boredom. Brett Ratner (whose previous directorial stints include Rush Hour with Jackie Chan!) crafts a fine film that balances the suspense and horror elements very discretely but effectively. Fiennes makes a good turn as the psychotic title character, adding another level to his range. While this prequel makes the trilogy complete (with The Silence Of The Lambs & Hannibal), apparently another one is in production. [Let's hope it doesn't turn into a Lethal Weapon series - or, God forbid a TV series!]. If you haven't seen Manhunter, it's worth renting - even if only for the extended stalking sequence utilising almost the entire Iron Butterfly song In-A-Gada-Da-Vida.

4 / B
- PB

1 2 3 4 5 6
A - B - C

Click below for the trilogy

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

© 2007 Flamedrop Productions