Well, cheesy title be damned, Michael Mann‘s 1986 version of Thomas Harris‘ novel The Red Dragon (apparently somebody at Dino De Laurentiis decided to change the title on account of fearing the movie-going audience would think it was a kung-fu flick!) is a damn good psychological thriller where William Petersen (CSI: Las Vegas) stars as an FBI profiler trying to catch a serial killer excellently portrayed by Tom Noonan – and being forced to seek advice from William Cox‘s superior Hannibal Lector.
Granted, there’s a lot of pastels in this one – making it kinda hard on the eyes if you know what I mean, ha ha ha – but I consider this version way better than the much-famed The Red Dragon starring Edward Norton and Anthony Hopkins. Mainly because, well, it’s more realistic. Can you imagine getting into the heads of these complete psychopaths on a daily basis? I’ve read John Douglas‘ gripping biography MINDHUNTER – Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit and Petersen makes an excellent portrayal of a man haunted by the evil he’s forced to not only witness but actually has to penetrate in order to do his job – and the toll it takes on him. Second, Cox’s Lector is so much more believable as he steers clear of that teen-horror “ogga-bogga-booo” bad guy acting and instead delivers a chilling portrait of a true psychopath that completely lacks empathy.
Just one of many titles I’ve been watching this week and if you haven’t seen it – DO!