When I heard Red Dragon
was being released back in 2002, it was another one of those circumstances where I questioned the motive of the filmmakers. Of course I'm talking about the "squeeze a good thing until you've drained every last penny out of it" situation. But when I heard Edward Norton was a leading role in the film, my lack of interest in the project suddenly took a 180 degree twist. To me, if Edward Norton feels the project is worth his time and energy it must be good. Or at least a good concept. Since were on the topic of Edward Norton, we mind as well cover the cast while were at it.
The actors chosen to bring Thomas Harris' best selling novel "Red Dragon
" to life is amazing. Combining the talents of Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson and Philip Seymour Hoffman creates a power house that would make nearly any script spectacular. I was not familiar with Ralph Fiennes' work until he appeared as Francis Dolarhyde, our mentally ill villain in the film. (Ralph later went on to play Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
and also Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
.) In my humble opinion, there is not an actor on the planet who could've portrayed our villain any better. Fiennes combined the emotions of anger, shyness, fear and rage with precision that only a dedicated and talented actor can accomplish. Then we have Emily Watson, a blind woman seeking friendship and love in a world which feels foreign to her. Stellar performance by Watson. I've been a fan of Philip Seymour Hoffman since his work in Patch Adams
. (Yes, I said Patch Adams
) Although, his character in Red Dragon
is the exact opposite of his portrayal of Mitch Roman in Patch Adams
. Nothing needs to be said about Anthony Hopkins, he's amazing as usual.
One thing I'm extremely pleased with is director Brett Ratner's refusal to mimic the style of directing from Silence of the Lambs
. Ridley Scott pissed me off with Hannibal
by reenacting many of the shots from Silence of the Lambs
in attempts to create another cult-classic block-buster. He failed. But Brett Ratner pulled through and gave us something fresh, not cookie-cut like many sequels/prequels try to pull over our eyes. The direction and tempo of the film was also well balanced. The viewer is not left looking at their watch wondering when things are going to pick up. It's simply a matter of placing the DVD in and you're instantly involved with the film.
has one of the best twists that I've ever seen in a film. I'm usually pretty good at guessing what's about to happen, but it's very rare that I'm surprised as much as I was at the end of the film. I refuse to give any information that would spoil it for you, but I'll give you a hint. It has to do with a shotgun.
On a scale of 1-10, Red Dragon
scores a 9. Get a copy of this film or die.