Although not as obscenely gruesome as Hannibal nor as psychologically creepy as Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon is still a tense, well-acted thriller. Based on the second Thomas Harris novel and his first involving Hannibal Lecter, Red Dragon probably gives Anthony Hopkins the least amount of screen time of the three, instead devoting most of it to Edward Norton and Harvey Keitel as federal agents racing to stop a brutal serial killer played excellently by Ralph Fiennes. The best performance of the movie however comes from Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddy Lounds, a repugnant tabloid reporter covering the so-called Tooth Fairy case. The film is very similar in plot and style to Silence, but not quite as exciting. The sense of urgency is not as great and the villain in not as loathsome. Buffalo Bill from Silence was an especially creepy bad guy with an exceptionally revolting MO. This Tooth Fairy is a little more standard in his ways, but no less menacing. There are some shocking moments and as we watch Ralph Fiennes go about his business for much of the movie, we slowly realize just how nuts he really is. Anthony Hopkins is great as usual, as is Edward Norton but his role doesn't allow him much room to really show off his capabilities, like American History X, Primal Fear and The Score do. Some negative points here: although he acted the part great, Ralph Fiennes was a bit of a miscast. As some of the dialogue suggests (dialogue lifted from the novel, as it were) the Tooth Fairy is supposed to be huge and muscle-bound, but Fiennes looks to be lean and fit at best. Perhaps this is a case where an actor's appearance is more important than his acting abilities. Second, the final wheelchair scene was nowhere near as shocking or gruesome as it should have been. In the novel, it was the most horrific scene, while in the movie, it was little more than a five second laugh. These minor negatives aside, Red Dragon is terrific and a welcome addition to the Hannibal Lecter series.
|9/10||newscott13@ - 400 reviews|
7.10.2002 - age: 26-35
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