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So we’ve all returned the DVD of Manhunter we rented in anticipation of Brett Ratner’s glossy Gothic retrofitting of the Thomas Harris novel in which Hannibal Lecter, pop-culture byword and defanged bogeyman, first appears. In favor of Michael Mann’s 1986 version: Joan Allen’s sexy, careless Reba; Tom Noonan’s magisterial reading of the line “Here I…am”; Noonan’s face as he watches Reba stroke the big sedated cat; Brian Cox’s flash of impotent fury when William Petersen mentions that he’s insane; Iron Butterfly’s “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida,” the uses of which Quentin Tarantino still hasn’t exorcised; the adaptation adjustments that reject some of Harris’ more egregious pulp cliches. Ratner’s Red Dragon has none of these elements, but it boasts its own rogue’s gallery of bloody good fun. Ratner paces this expanded telling nicely, despite the obviously and not always credibly shoehorned-in Lecter scenes. Screenwriter Ted Tally, who also adapted The Silence of the Lambs, knew he would have a job refocusing the story from haunted, intuitive FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) to the more glamorous but less busy Lecter, so he dealt out the narrative evenly among Graham, Lecter, and serial killer Francis Dolarhyde (Ralph Fiennes). It works, in its sprawling, sumptuous way, because he’s less interested in the Mann-ish tick-tock of heavy brains on their collision course than in keeping the tension zinging blissfully over two-and-a-half absorbing hours. Most of the members of the all-star cast perform this action-thriller foolishness as if their future knighthoods depended on it. But Anthony Hopkins doesn’t. He’s got his title already, so he glides through his scenes with a big man’s grace, trussed like a turkey into a variety of exotic restraining devices—including, from the looks of him when unfettered, one humdinger of a corset. —Arion Berger