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Reviewed by: Max - SimplyScripts Reviewer

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Director: Brett Ratner
Writer: Ted Tally
Starring: Edward Norton as Will Graham
Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter
Ralph Fiennes as Francis Dolarhyde

Grade: B+


The prequel to "The Silence of the Lambs" about a former FBI agent (Norton) who gets the help of the man who tried to murder him (Hopkins) to catch a serial killer (Fiennes). I absolutely loved the book written by Thomas Harris. His book was adapted first in 1986. The film was called "Manhunter". It was a disappointment because it cut the majority of the book out. But I still liked it as a movie by itself. I went into "Red Dragon" thinking it would be an epic, using everything from the book. But again, I was disappointed. This film and "Manhunter" are almost exactly the same thing. The only major difference is this film used the book ending which "Manhunter" didn't use. But this film did have an entirely different tone. It went more with "The Silence of the Lambs" tone. I really liked that.

The acting in this film was great. Edward Norton really gives a good performance as a man forced to go back and work with the man that almost killed him. Ralph Fiennes gives as excellent performance as a killer dealing with keeping his evil or getting rid of it. I really felt sorry for him at times. Emily Watson gives a good performance as a blind woman that falls in love with the murderer and Philip Seymour Hoffman gives a great performance as a jackass news reporter. And you can't have a movie like this without Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. Some critics said that his performance in this film was to comical compared to the other films. But I think it's just right.

Brett Ratner steps up to the directing job. He does a great job and really I think he did a better job than Ridley Scott did for "Hannibal" and he really is up there right next with Jonathan Demme that directed "The Silence of the Lambs." Ted Tally wrote the screenplay for this film and he also wrote "Silence of the Lambs." But I think he could have written a better script for this film. This film could have been a lot better, but I still enjoyed it. I don't think I could give it a less rating than "Manhunter" because they're both exactly the same thing. Maybe one day they'll make an ultimate adaptation of this book.


Grade: B

There's two versions of this DVD. One edition with one disc and the other is a Director's Edition with two. I got the two disc set. On disc one we get stuff like director/writer commentary. I really like these guys and they're real funny. We also get deleted/alternate/extended scenes with optional commentary. There's only a couple good deleted scenes. The rest are just a few seconds long. We also get the history of Hannibal Lecter (this is awesome) and we get a ‘making-of' and a little documentary hosted by Hopkins on how he plays the part.

On disc two we get a documentary called "A Director's Journey" where a camera follows Brett Ratner around the whole entire shooting of the film. Really fun. We also get his first student film. Which wasn't all that great. We get screen tests. They test everything from the giant tattoo on Ralph's back to blood and fire. They also give is a makeup documentary and a documentary on how real FBI agents created the look of the Leeds' House.

DVD Features

  • Production notes
  • Theatrical trailer(s)
  • The Director's Edition set contains an extra disc of features, including:
    • Brett Ratner's video diary
    • The Leeds' house crime scene: experts in the field of forensic science help the filmmakers construct a realistic crime scene
    • Visual effects featurette
    • A behind-the-scenes look at how the burning wheelchair stunt was shot
    • Screen and film tests
    • Makeup application featurette
    • Brett Ratner's untitled student film
    • Storyboards to final feature comparisons
  • Plus these additional features:
    • Renowned FBI profiler John Douglas builds Lecter's criminal file
    • "Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer," hosted by John Douglas
    • A look at Lecter's FBI file and case history
    • Anthony Hopkins discusses his most famous character
    • "The Making of Red Dragon"
    • Deleted scenes, alternate versions of scenes, and extended scenes with optional commentary
    • Music score commentary with composer Danny Elfman
  • Widescreen anamorphic format
  • Number of discs: 2
copyright (c) 2003, Max Colston, Used with Permission

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