Review: 'Dredd' succeeds
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 19:09
First of all, let’s cleanse our palate. Take all memory of the 1995 film “Judge Dredd” with Sylvester Stallone, and repress it away for good. Now that we’ve gotten rid of that blight on the planet, let’s talk about “Dredd.”
Fans of the fringe comic book series Judge Dredd will tell you, the 1995 film was, for lack of a better word, terrible. But this new film has taken its source material straight from the comics, which it did quite well, and Karl Urban did an amazing job at fixing what Stallone did to the character.
“Dredd” is about a futuristic police force, whose officers act not just as peacekeepers, but as judge, jury and (if necessary) executioners to dispense immediate justice on the streets. Dredd (Karl Urban) is one of the most notorious Judges, and he’s given a rookie named Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) to train on the job.
On a murder call to a massive high-rise apartment building, they stumble into a drug cartel, which declares war on the Judges. Trapped inside, Dredd and Anderson must fight for their lives and also try to take down the vicious kingpin, Ma-Ma (Lena Headey).
It’s more true to the original source material, aiming squarely for an ultra-violent R rating rather than a mainstream PG-13. Also, bucking the Hollywood trend of the studios demanding to see the faces of the stars, Karl Urban never takes off his helmet in “Dredd,” which is a major thing in the comics.
Along with the cool action and explosive (and sometimes humorous) violence, “Dredd” has a slick production design that doesn’t fall completely into cliché, and a fantastic soundtrack that serves as a bit of a throwback to the digital music from the 80s.
“Dredd” was released in both 2D and 3D, and I was fortunate enough to see it in 3D. Yes, you read that right, I said, “fortunate enough.” The film was made to be viewed in 3D, but that doesn’t mean when it comes out on home video it will stink. It has worked the 3D element into the film quite well, something 3D movies of today are lacking.
The main problem in the film is a new drug called, “Slo-Mo” which looks like an inhaler. Upon taking a hit, your brain makes everything move at 1% its normal rate, which was a stunning effect, especially when it happened during an action scene where glass and blood, quite literally, come out of the screen at you. It was probably the best 3D film I’ve ever seen.
“Dredd” is a lot of fun, especially for the fan of shoot-em-up movies with plenty of R-rated violence. I give it 5 guilty verdicts out of 5!