Red Dragon is a crime thriller film directed by Brett Ratner; serving as a prequel of sorts to the Hannibal films. Obviously, Ratner is a very troubling person for a lot of reasons, but I will try to look past that for the purposes of this review. The plot this time around focuses on the man who caught Hannibal Lecture (Anthony Hopkins), Will Graham (Edward Norton). Once again, an FBI agent needs Hannibal’s help to catch the latest twisted serial killer; they really need to start paying him to consult.
I would rank the Hannibal films I have seen so far in this order, descending in quality, Silence Of The Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon. I don’t by any means think this is a bad film, far from it in fact, I just think it can’t hope to compete with the others. The relationship between Norton’s and Hopkins’ characters is interesting, but it is no will they Clarice and Hannibal; though I did enjoy that little tease at the end.
My thoughts on the film’s villain The Tooth Fairy (Ralph Fiennes), are the complete counter to what they were when I reviewed Hannibal. I think unlike in that film, where Gary Oldman’s character was pushed to the side in favour of Hannibal, this time it is the other way around. For a Hannibal Lecture film we get surprisingly not a lot of him, Fiennes is definitely the main focus. Hopkins gives his all when he is onscreen, which is commendable as always.
The balancing act between Hannibal and whatever serial killer him and his FBI associate are trying to catch is always the crucial thing with these films and it goes both ways, neither good, with the only film in the series to get the balance right being The Silence Of The Lambs, but that is a hard film to follow.
Overall, it is still good, just not as good than the film that proceeded it.
Reviewed by Luke