Red Dragon (2002)


A vast improvement on its predecessor, but still a plainly superfluous third serving of cannibal stew, which turns the clock back to Harris's first Hannibal novel and re-recruits Lambs screenwriter Ted Tally, so at least there's a plot and a bit of narrative drive again.
Though set before the events of Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins is visibly ten years older and tireder - like the whole moth-eaten concept, really. Worst performance is a close three man race, but perhaps surprisingly it's Edward Norton who takes the trophy, as a supposedly battle-scarred veteran cop who looks like a kid playing one in a high school play: never has an actor seemed so uncomfortable in a leather jacket and Bruce Willis he-man vest.

This was actually the second time Harris's novel had been filmed: way back in 1986, before the original novel of Lambs had even been published, Michael Mann directed it as Manhunter. Smart alecks hailing it as superior to the legitimate series abound, but, though very different, it's just awful, with an all-swamping synthesiser score and the look of an overslick tv cop show. Brian Cox played Lecter well.