RED  DRAGON   - A   Narada   Film Review

  ED NORTON as Will Graham   
  roughs up sleaze reporter,   
  as HARVEY KAITEL tries to   
  separate them.  
  
   ANTHONY HOPKINS  
   as Hector is once again   
   on a tether to keep him   
   from  eating someone.  
   
   RALPH FIENNES  as   
   Francis Dolarhyde, the   
   much sought-after   
   'Tooth Fairy'.
RED DRAGON  - Brett Ratner-Director   Dino D Laurentiis-Producer .

  Reviewed 12 Nov 2002   There are hard acts to follow, and there are impossible acts to follow.   The problem with having the ultimate horror-monster loose and walking among us, like, say, a cannibal named Hannibal, is what are you going to do for an encore?   Even the second sequel, Hannibal strained desperately to capture our imaginations and entertain us as did The Silence Of The Lambs.  However, while RED DRAGON was admittedly entertaining, it just wasn't in the same league as the original.
       One gets the sense that Director, Brett Ratner also felt RED DRAGON was a few face cards short of a royal flush.   Some of the tension-building tricks came straight out of a "teenagers trapped in a haunted house" movie:- long silences punctuated by a very loud noise, and over-use of tension-building music.  But the most blatant attempt to pander to our primordial fear of the dark was Will Graham (Ed Norton ) going back to re-investigate the scene of the slaughter in the dead of night with a flashlight (good drama, not so good police work).   In fact, one could -perhaps a little bluntly- say that the film RED DRAGON was carried on star-power alone.   If it weren't for Ed Norton, Harvey Keitel and Anthony Hopkins, I doubt that this film would have even raised a whisper.
        The billboard entreating us to go in to see RED DRAGON said, "The first and most terrifying chapter in the Hannibal Lecter Trilogy".   There's a word for that; 'anachronistic'.   How could it be the first chapter if it starts out with Hannibal Lecter already captured and behind bars for previous crimes of cannibalism?    At any rate, there were few of us walking out of the movie house this evening that didn't suspect yet another sequel - which would make it, of course, a 'quadrilogy'.   But we hoped not; it's time to move on, gentlemen.
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "Fear is the price of our instrument, but I can help you."

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