|Universal Pictures | Release Date: October 4, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Audiences will be excused for any feelings of déjà vu the new film might inspire. That won't prevent them from watching it in rapt, anxious silence, however, as the gruesome crimes, twisted psychology and deterministic dread that lie at the heart of Harris' work are laid out with care and skill. Read full review
To my surprise, Ratner does a sure, stylish job, appreciating the droll humor of Lecter's predicament, creating a depraved new villain in the Tooth Fairy (Ralph Fiennes), and using the quiet, intense skills of Norton to create a character whose old fears feed into his new ones. There is also humor, of the uneasy he-can't-get-away-with-this variety, in the character of a nosy scandal-sheet reporter (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Read full review
Red Dragon is certainly an improvement on Hannibal. It has something the Ridley Scott movie didnt -- a good story -- and it will no doubt keep the franchise rolling in dough.
It's chilling what Fiennes can do with so very little; he looks like a wounded puppy half the time and sounds like one to boot.
The most refreshing aspect of Red Dragon is its reliance on old-fashioned acting instead of computer-aided gizmos. Hopkins overdoes his role at times -- his vocal tones are almost campy -- but his piercing eyes are as menacing as ever, and Ralph Fiennes is scarily good as his fellow lunatic. Read full review
What Ratner brings to the proceedings is an awareness that what worked for "Silence" -- namely screenwriter Ted Tally, production designer Kristi Zea and, of course, Anthony Hopkins as Lecter -- will work overtime here, to enhance the project at hand and provide a seamless connection back to Jonathan Demme's multiple-Oscar winner. Read full review
An absorbing film, acted with real force by all parties and directed with competence and assuredness if something less than inspiration.
For all the lunacies bared within this film, it has the tick and thrum of a solid studio machine, occasionally shocking but never surprising; it will be watched by everybody, but it feels as if it were made by nobody. [14 & 21 October 2002, p. 226]
If you buy the overprocessed headcheese of the serial killer as refined genius, you'll love Red Dragon. Or maybe not. Even Hannibal Lecter devotees may lose patience with this picture's grandiose, self-serious ponderousness -- that's Lecterese for, "It's kind of boring in patches, actually." Read full review
I say don't bite unless your taste runs to thin gruel, and grueling gruel at that.
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