The third instalment of the modern Hannibal Lecter franchise is a prequel to Silence Of The Lambs, featuring his capture at the hands of the FBI and the events leading up to Clarice Starling’s visit.
And those events could have featured in any one of a hundred other serial killer movies. The big name cast is the only thing that marks this film above every production line made-for-TV mediocrity that populates our small screens. For me, the Hannibal Lecter films are at their best when he is on the loose; Anthony Hopkins is barely in this film and beyond his initial appearance – which is easily the best scene of the film – does little more than make glib remarks and pop psychological analyses in a silly accent. Otherwise it’s wall-to-wall cliches and uninteresting characters in situations that you’ve seen a dozen times before.
Red Dragon is an efficiently executed film that unfortunately displays not a whit of inspiration or imagination. The Hannibal TV series was far, far better in every department.