Quite a while ago, I did a review for the film Silence of the Lambs so I figured it was time to return to the world of Hannibal Lecter to see where it all began (yeah, this is a prequel to Silence of the Lambs since it's based on the book...which came out before the book of Silence...kind of dropped the ball on that one). Let's get straight to it.
FBI Agent Will Graham (Edward Norton), an agent made famous for apprehending Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), is called back into action when a new criminal known as 'The Tooth Fairy'. The problem is, The Tooth Fairy has gaining information about Will's personal life and is beginning to use it against. Will has to use Lecter to get inside the Tooth Fairy's mind and work out who he is.
Let's begin with the obvious, Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins continues his excellent portrayal as Hannibal and shows no sign of slowing down (except being replaced by Mads Mikkelson...and his age). He also works well along side Edward Norton (an actor I feel is great in everything he's in) as, unlike Jodie Foster's Clarice in Silence, Hannibal hates Will which makes Hannibal more threatening and makes us feel more sympathy for Will. Other actors such as Ralph Fiennes and Emily Watson also do a good job.
Now, you could argue my big complaint is a moot point as this story initially came first, but Red Dragon does feel like a re-hash of Silence of the Lambs. While it does have a much more thrilling climax with some great twists, it does feel a lot like Silence. I'm not saying it's a complete re-hash, it just has similar plot elements. Will and Clarice are vastly different and the villains are too (although they have similar motivations).
Red Dragon takes what made Silence of the Lambs great and experiments with it. Making a protagonist that Hannibal detests is a nice spin on the other story but I wouldn't really say there is enough to make it stand on its own. I would recommend it to those that want more insight into the world of Hannibal but don't start with this one.
A nice twist on Silence with some terrific acting and plot twists but it doesn't really make enough difference to stand on its own.