Red Dragon: Director's Edition
Universal // R // $34.98 // April 1, 2003
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted April 22, 2003
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CineSchlock-O-Rama
Short Takes

Well, it's no Hannibal. That's a GOOD thing to most. But gimme Gary Oldman's fright mask and hungry-hungry porkers ANY day! Oscar's mostest favorite gentleman cannibal, "Sir Lecter" in rotten chopper circles, doesn't nosh NEAR his fill in this been-there eaten-that outing. But the gazillion dollar, star-spangled retread of Manhunter delivers what Megaplex audiences LOVE and that's eyeing Anthony Hopkins in those dashing blue coveralls again. This time Lecter plays "Riddle me this!" with Edward Norton, his very first FBI crush, the one BEFORE the original's chicken fried Jodi Foster, or Julianne Moore who pretended REAL HARD to be Jodi in the sequel, which makes this Hollywood's best box-office invention yet, the PREQUEL! Sounds WAY more sophisticated and that's precisely how the average NPR yay-hoo prefers his homicidal maniacs. Take Ralph Fiennes' harelipped serial killer. Guy pees his britches as a youngster and grandma gives him such stink eye that he starts one of those schizo scrapbooks that ALL his ilk are required to maintain by the Writers Guild of America. Meanwhile, Mr. Norton sulks around bloodied crime scenes, with bad '80s bedhead, mumbling exciting stuff into a tape recorder such as, "Because of this misplaced eyelash, the perp must be a Fort Lauderdale taxidermist named Hershell." Huh?! Doesn't matter. Hopkins' all-too-brief orations as Hannibal are still the lamb's meow. But careful you don't squirt Coors from each nostril when the mean, nasty Tooth Fairy, er, RED DRAGON gets his bones slamdunked by an incredibly frisky blind chick (Emily Watson). It's almost as sidesplitting as the human fireball zipping down the boulevard in a wheelchair. Wanna see everything that's WRONG with mega-budget Hollywood? Tag along for alleged auteur Brett Ratner's odyssey in self-indulgence featuring an appearance by none other than Jacko No-Nose. It's the feather-weight centerpiece of this two-disc fluff ball a.k.a. the "Director's Edition." Two breasts. Eight corpses. Fancy fiddling. Gratuitous urination. Chloroforming. Advanced heterosexual tongue rasslin. Two-ply correspondence. Tiger toothache. Exceedingly ill-advised tattoo. Hanny licks his chops, "Remarkable boy! I admire your courage. I think I'll eat your heart!!!"(2002, 124 mins, 2.35:1 anam, DD 5.1/2.0, Commentary, Isolated score, Ratner tag-along and student film, Featurette overload, Deleted scenes, Screen tests, Text-based Lecter profile, Trailers, Undeniably nifty menus hosted by you know who.)

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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.


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