Red Dragon

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson

Director: Brett Ratner

The third in the Hannibal Lecter series of films (not counting Michael Mann’s MANHUNTER) is actually the first in the Hannibal Lecter story as this movie is a prequel to the last two.

A slightly confusing opening as we see Hannibal, a visibly older Anthony Hopkins, even though he keeps his age.well, advising detective Will Graham (Edward Norton) on a series of horrific murder cases .At this point in time nobody has discovered Hannibal is the murderer but it’s not long before he is caught and put in his cell. The film then jumps forward to detective Graham having left the police due to the toll the job was taking but now agreeing to act as a consultant on a new series of murder’s mirroring Lecter’s cannabilistic style.

The current cannibal murderer is Frances Dolahyde (Ralph Fiennes) an admirer of Hannibal Lecter and as the police have run out of clues Graham in turn consults Lecter in his cell making deals for privileges in turn for guidance to catch the killer.

We’ve seen the Lecter as an adviser from the cell routine before but the fresh aspects of the movie are Ralph Fiennes portrayal of the current killer as well as Ed Norton’s performance as the man who can see the crimes from the killer’s perspective.

Surprisingly Hannibal Lecter’s scenes although powerful don’t dominate the film, as I had expected Anthony Hopkins character to appear more frequently than the actually does.

For this reason it’s Ed Norton that really pulls the movie together although that’s no bad thing as I’ve not yet seen him give anything less that a good performance.

RED DRAGON makes a worthy prequel in the series and it’s unlikely that fans of the previous two movies will be disappointed.

4 out of 6 stars