RED DRAGON. 2002. DIRECTED BY BRETT RATNER. STARRING ANTHONY HOPKINS, ED NORTON, HARVEY KEITEL, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN AND EMILY WATSON. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This is a superb horror film. There isn’t a single bad thing to say about it. It’s one fifth of the fantastic quintet of Hannibal Lecter films that also includes MANHUNTER, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, HANNIBAL and HANNIBAL RISING.
This film, though it was made after THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, is actually the prequel to it. It tells us how evil genius Hannibal Lecter came to the attention of the police in the first place and the gory circumstances of his apprehension and incarceration in that special cell for the criminally insane in which we are accustomed to seeing him.
Then it tells us a different and equally thrilling story. The story, to be precise, of the deranged serial killer known to the police and the media as The Tooth Fairy. This is a killer who slaughters entire families in the most sickening manner. Who, if anyone, is capable of catching such a maniac…? The FBI are putting all of their eggs in one basket on this one, folks.
These eggs take the form of Special Agent Will Graham, the man who caught Hannibal Lecter. Now Graham adroitly picks Lecter’s brains in an attempt to figure out the identity of The Tooth Fairy. The scenes of verbal thrust and parry in which the two engage are terrific fun. Anthony Hopkins is just so good as Hannibal Lecter that you feel you could watch him in the role for all eternity. Well, that’s how I personally feel about his faultless and gripping performances, anyway.
Ralph Fiennes is also utterly electrifying as the messed-up photograph and home movies development technician whose upbringing was so abusive you can almost forgive him for turning out so loopy. We see rather a lot of Ralph’s naked butt in the movie. He’s in great shape and one gets the impression that he likes to show off his body.
It’s certainly not the first time we’ve seen his naked butt in a film. Remember THE END OF THE AFFAIR with Julianne Moore and Stephen Rea…? Phwoarrr…! (On a more serious note, one can’t help but wonder what Dumbledore would have made of such flagrantly saucy shenanigans!)
Harvey Keitel as FBI Agent Jack Crawford is another actor whose naked butt we’ve also seen on the big screen, THE PIANO with Holly Hunter being a definite case in point. The late great Philip Seymour Hoffman does not show off his naked butt in his film, though he does appear partially-dressed in one scene, haha. He turns in a great performance as sleazy, loathsome investigative journalist Freddy Lounds who meets with a gruesome death at the hands of the killer.
There are so many memorable scenes in the film that it’s hard to single out just one or two for special mention. I love when Ralph Fiennes is getting a blow-job from ANGELA’S ASHES lead actress Emily Watson while he’s watching the home movies of the next family he plans to kill. Reba McClane is blind, you see, so she doesn’t know what he’s looking at. She actually thinks he’s turned-on because of her…! It’s just so twisted and somehow disturbed that it makes for unmissable viewing. I also love the tiger-petting scene for the powerful emotions which it unleashes in both Reba and Dolarhyde.
There’s a nice little twist at the end which leads us neatly onto THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Watching all five Hannibal Lecter films back-to-back or, say, over the course of one weekend would make for a great horror movie marathon or film festival theme. Feel free to use my idea. Don’t worry, you won’t be stealing it or anything. It’s already patent-granted, haha…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
9) THE DEVIANTS
10) VISITING DAY