NOT for the faint of heart: Hannibal returns in Red Dragon.
photo: Courtesy of Tatrafilm
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel
Directed by: Brett Ratner
Running time: 130 min
Rating: 8 out of 10
IF YOU like to be scared, rejoice, because freaky Dr Hannibal Lecter is back on the screen in the film Red Dragon, the story that completes Thomas Harris's trilogy about Hannibal the Cannibal - a character that has become synonymous with evil genius.
The psychiatrist turned serial killer is again played by Sir Anthony Hopkins. He is the perfect villain and has an equally evil partner in Mr D, a new character played by Ralph Fiennes.
Mr D is a serial killer who worships the image of the Red Dragon. Both 'heroes' have multiple personalities that are part genius and part psychopath. This is what makes the story fascinating and exciting.
FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) is called on to investigate the case of ritualistic killer Mr D and creates an extremely intuitive and obsessively precise reconstruction of the crimes he commits. He also gets a lot of help from Dr Lecter. He receives useful hints concerning the motives and personality of the killer but by dealing with the devil he endangers his family.
Director Brett Ratner has to be congratulated on the choice of his all-star cast. Emily Watson, who plays Reba, is not an obvious Hollywood choice. Her portrayal of a young woman attracted to the killer is one of the most stunning performances in the film. Another great performance is given by Philip Seymour Hoffman in his portrayal of an unscrupulous journalist covering the murder story, who becomes an object of the killer's interest.
This movie definitely sends shivers down your spine. The murders are committed during the full moon. The victims seem to be randomly chosen families with children. Broken mirrors are found at the scenes of the crimes. A freak locked up in a psychiatric prison provides ambiguous clues. You name it; this thriller has it all.
Red Dragon is the prequel to both The Silence of the Lambs (1988) and Hannibal (1999) and is a must for all Hannibal fans. This movie provides a pleasantly terrifying experience for those who are unacquainted with the story, and may give them valuable insight into the origins of evil.