Combustible Celluloid
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With: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anthony Heald, Ken Leung, Frankie Faison
Written by: Ted Tally, based on a novel by Thomas Harris
Directed by: Brett Ratner
MPAA Rating: R for violence, grisly images, language, some nudity and sexuality
Running Time: 124
Date: 09/30/2002

Red Dragon (2002)

1/2 Star (out of 4)

Feeding Hearts

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Thomas Harris' first "Hannibal Lecter" novel, Red Dragon, was adapted into movie form by Michael Mann in 1986. The producers changed the title to Manhunter to avoid unwanted comparisons to cheap kung-fu movies. Brian Cox played the famous cannibal in just a couple of brief scenes, and the result is the most impressive, refined and enjoyable of the series. Brett Ratner's remake, on the other hand, is one of the most pointless exercises in Hollywood history. The film oozes contempt for its audience, caring nothing for the characters or suspense and only craving money. Hopkins reprises his Oscar-winning role, but the script adds more of him to appease audience expectations, even though these new scenes make no sense. It betrays all of Mann's innovations, and worse, eclipses them. This version went on to gross over ten times the original film's take. The prestigious cast can barely disguise their naked greed and shame for showing their faces here.

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