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Red Dragon (2002)

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A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer. Aiding him is imprisoned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.

Director:

Brett Ratner

Writers:

Thomas Harris (novel), Ted Tally (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,407 ( 364)
4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Hopkins ... Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Edward Norton ... Will Graham
Ralph Fiennes ... Francis Dolarhyde
Harvey Keitel ... Jack Crawford
Emily Watson ... Reba McClane
Mary-Louise Parker ... Molly Graham
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Freddy Lounds
Anthony Heald ... Dr. Frederick Chilton
Ken Leung ... Lloyd Bowman
Frankie Faison ... Barney Matthews
Tyler Patrick Jones ... Josh Graham
Lalo Schifrin ... Conductor
Tim Wheater Tim Wheater ... Flautist
John Rubinstein ... Dinner Guest
David Doty David Doty ... Dinner Guest
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Storyline

Three years after retiring from the F.B.I. because of a nearly fatal encounter with Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Sir Anthony Hopkins), who was helping him catch the "Chesapeake Ripper", only to reveal it was Hannibal, Will Graham (Edward Norton) is asked by his ex-partner Jack Crawford (Harvey Keitel) to come solve one last case, two slaughtered families every full moon. They have three weeks until the next full moon to find the madman (Ralph Fiennes, but an innocent blind woman (Emily Watson) has found him first. Will Graham must risk his family's security and his own safety to track down this one last murderer, the epitome of all evil, The Red Dragon. Written by Andrew Tenebrae <andrewtenebrae@ev1.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To understand the origin of evil, you must go back to the beginning. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, grisly images, language, some nudity and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

4 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dragón rojo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$78,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,540,945, 6 October 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$93,149,898

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$209,196,298
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeremy Piven auditioned for the role of Francis Dolarhyde. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 8 mins) When Will is teaching Molly to shoot at the farm, there is no visible recoil when she discharges the revolver. This would be practically impossible with a 357 or 44 in the hands of a novice. There is no flash either, just wisps of smoke. In fact, the gun shakes more while she's cycling the cylinder then when she discharges it. There are also no bullets in any of the chamber. Finally, neither are wearing safety goggles, which as a FBI field agents should be second nature when firing in a range-type setting. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hannibal Lecter: Think to yourself that every day is your last. The hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise. As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state, fat and sleek, a true hog of Epicurus's herd.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to the village of Islamorada, Florada See more »

Connections

Followed by Hannibal (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Lament for Javanette
Written by Barney Bigard and Billy Strayhorn
Performed by Barney Bigard and His Orchestra
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label, a unit of BMG Music
Under license from BMG Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Another great film that slipped under the radar of most
3 July 2006 | by mattrochmanSee all my reviews

This was a fantastic film, but it slipped under many people's radar for three reasons:

1) The critics said (and rightly so) that it is not as good as the Silence of the Lambs. However, I find it difficult to compare the films, largely because Will Graham (Norton) is completely different to Clarice Starling (Foster). The different dimension they bring to the investigation is enough, by itself, to distinguish them beyond comparison.

2) This was the third film in the series. The problem with the Hollywood pumping out an absurd number of sequels and prequels (even when the original film was terrible to begin with) is that it alters the public's attitude towards them. People are usually happy to see the "part 2" but beyond that, you're usually down to loyalists. In fact, this situation has been made worse due to the fact that many of the sequels made are shockingly bad (eg, the American Pie sequels, the Highlander sequels). Some are so terrible that they can actually tarnish the memory of the original (eg... Matrix Revolutions). So a third Hannibal film was always going to be an uphill battle.

3) This followed an awful sequel: Hannibal. People who thought Hannibal was terrible (and there's no shortage of them) are likely to turn their nose up at any further sequels or prequels. That's what Hollywood always overlooks - once you pump out one bad sequel (eg, Ocean's Twelve 2004), fewer people will even consider seeing the next sequel, unless it receives almost unanimous critical acclaim.

I did not like Hannibal either and I think that many stars in Hollywood would have turned it down after reading the script. Jodie Foster, with the offer of reprising her academy awarding winning role, and Jon Demme (director of Silence of the lambs) walked away from the Hannibal after disagreements with author (Harris) over the character directions. Hopkins nearly left when Foster and Demme walked, but was persuaded to stay (probably with a nice salary increase!). In any case, key elements were gone and in my view, they ultimately failed to attract a strong supporting cast.

By contrast, I think many actors would have been falling over themselves to land one of the roles in Red Dragon after reading the script. Accordingly, we ended up with Hopkins (reprising his academy award winning role to absolute perfection), Norton (who is the rightful winner of the academy award for American History X in my view, even though the academy went to someone else that year), Harvey Keitel, Ralph Finnes and the brilliant, but under-rated, Phillip Seymore Hoffman. They combine to breath tremendous life into this investigative/thriller. And the opening 5 minutes is magnificent.

However, I have two criticisms that cost it a star. First, it wasn't quite dark enough. Perhaps that masterpiece, the Silence of the Lambs, used up all the visceral attributes that were so pathetically contrived in Hannibal and present, but not powerfully present, in Red Dragon. There certainly was a dark edge, but it just didn't get under my skin the way Silence of the Lambs did (if you'll forgive the pun).

Second, I felt that there were a few off-shoots to the main plot that could have been worked around or seemed to play no real role in the film whatsoever. For example, the tense relationship between Norton and the reporter (Hoffman), Finnes taking the blind girl to listen to the sedated tiger (or lion or whatever it was), Norton teaching his wife to shoot ... and many others. Most of the time, I felt that they should have been left on the cutting room floor as they were of little interest, had little (if any) role in the context of the story and accordingly, unnecessarily bulked out the running time of the film.

Otherwise, terrific viewing. Don't be dissuaded by Hannibal - this sequel achieves where that one so dismally failed.


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