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RED DRAGON

"Following the wanton frenzies of 'Hannibal,'' 'Red Dragon' wisely returns to the wiles of impending and suggested violence rather than the spectacle of bloody geysers. But producer Dino De Laurentiis knows what he wants, or maybe what he thinks we want. We want Anthony Hopkins' soft, intimate voice, burred with mockery. We want the precise gestures, the slicked-back hair, the slow, fluid movements interrupted by bite-the-nose-off impulses from our old friend and his dinner guests. We get them--at the expense of a Lecter movie that really scares or excites." -- Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"Lecter is such a huge presence at this point that he capsizes the picture's narrative, which is presumably a manhunt for a serial murderer other than Lecter...Mr. Hopkins excels at this Grand Guignol comic relief, though it's tiresome because we've heard it before. The entire picture is a third-generation Xerox copy...mostly the new movie adaptation of 'Red Dragon' poses a philosophical question not found in Mr. Harris's novels: Can something really gory put you to sleep? 'Red Dragon" says yes.' -- Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

"To my surprise, [director Brett Ratner] does a sure, stylish job, appreciating the droll humor of Lecter's predicament, creating a depraved new villain in the Tooth Fairy (Ralph Fiennes), and using the quiet, intense skills of Norton to create a character whose old fears feed into his new ones...As the 'Tooth Fairy' figure, named Francis Dolarhyde, Ralph Fiennes comes as close as possible to creating a sympathetic monster."
-- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"The good news is that 'Red Dragon' is much better than the campy, overwrought 'Hannibal' and that Anthony Hopkins' fearsome cannibal killer is once again both evil and scary...It's frightening enough, to be sure, but too often it feels like a well-executed but rote exercise...the great weakness of 'Red Dragon' is a surprisingly bland performance by the generally excellent Norton...Fortunately, you have Fiennes' fascinating, eerily sympathetic performance..." -- Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post

"... a predictably efficient piece of business notable largely for its overwhelming creepiness, for an eagerness to create images you wish you hadn't seen, which, in this day and age, is of course the point...There's no freshness here, no sense of newness or discovery. In its place, there's an earnest desire not to drop the ball, a determination to risk as little as possible in keeping this golden egg from cracking wide open" -- Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times