I've been a Dredd fan for thirty years now, but I'm not about to give this movie adaptation of my favourite comic character a ridiculously high rating purely from some misguided sense of loyalty. Instead, I'm going to give it a deservingly high score because, quite simply, it is a very good film, one that successfully captures the essence of the 2000AD strip, delivering brutal action by the bucket-load, excellent central performances, and inspired direction, all enhanced by breathtaking state-of-the-art 3D special effects.
After the debacle that was Stallone's Judge Dredd (1995), the makers of this movie have clearly made their prime directive to please hardcore Dredd fans, and it shows: the screenplay, by Alex Garland, remains very faithful to the spirit of the comic, and in Karl Urban, we now have the perfect Dreddall raspy voice and humourless grimace, it looks as though the character has jumped straight onto the screen from the pages of 2000AD (helmet intact). Similarly, it would be hard to imagine anyone more suitable than Olivia Thirlby as rookie Psi-Judge Anderson (and believe me, I've tried!).
Is Dredd 3D my 'ideal' Dredd movie? Not quite... made for a comparatively meagre budget of $45million, it would be hard pushed to live up to my impossibly high expectations (just realising the Mega-City One of my dreams would require way more money than it cost to make this entire film). That said, it is definitely a massive step in the right direction, and if it is the financial success that it genuinely deserves to be, who knows what treats await us in the future: The Cursed Earth, Judge Cal, Judge Death, The Apocalypse War.... I'm salivating like a Klegg just thinking about it.
Action / Sci-Fi
Action / Sci-Fi
The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One - a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called "Judges" who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge - a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of "Slo-Mo" experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed. During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson, a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture - a 200 storey vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan's inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound's control center and wages a dirty, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire. With the body count climbing and no way out, Dredd and Anderson must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival.
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December 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm