Red Dragon ★★★
Michael Mann’s austerely effective 1986 adaptation of Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon, his first novel to feature urbane serial killer Hannibal Lecter, was retitled Manhunter. This flashier 2002 remake by director Brett Ratner and screenwriter Ted Tally, extends the franchise after the success of The Silence of the Lambs and restores its name. More is made of Lecter, now played by Anthony Hopkins, despite being incarcerated throughout. Its central psycho, who must be caught by Edward Norton’s dour FBI profiler using Lecter’s advice is the “Tooth Fairy”, played with serpentine relish by Ralph Fiennes. It’s suitably ghoulish and gothic, and even teases us with a throw-forward to one Clarice Starling.
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