This week’s movie review focuses on Dredd, now available on DVD in Redbox.
Dredd, starring Karl Urban as Judge Joe Dredd, is probably one of my worst pre-screening judgment calls in quite some time. I have been putting it off, seeing it more as a dismal attempt to recreate a 3D version of Sylvester Stallone’s turd back in 1995.
Much to my surprise, however, this rendition cleverly is scripted by Sunshine and 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland. He, along with the newbie director Pete Travis, slapped me in my pessimistic face and offered-up a version of Judge Dredd that fans of the comic could appreciate.
Dredd is set in a nuclear war battered, post apocalyptic Mega City 1 which extends from Boston to Washington, D.C. With a population of 800 million the only form of force in the crime ridden city are the judges. The premise starts when the Chief Judge assigns Dredd to evaluate a new recruit/psychic Cassandra Anderson, played by Olivia Thirlby.
They soon get a call to a slum tower block, known a Peach Trees, after a female crime lord named MaMa, played by Lena Headey, executes three people. They soon learn that Peach Trees is a haven for the new drug aptly named Slo-Mo due to the fact it slows the brain function down to 1 percent of its actual capacity.
After raiding a drug den and executing most of its inhabitants, the two take a prisoner named Kay. When MaMa learns that one of her associates was taken alive she locks the high rise complex down and issues a hit on the two judges.
As the judges battle their way through seemingly endless groups of thugs they get to the floor where MaMa is and she proceeds to demolish the entire floor with her canons. Failing to defeat the judges yet again, she calls in some back up that leads up to quite a spectacle of a finally for Dredd and Anderson both.
I thought it was awesome! I love going into a movie thinking it will suck and be pleasantly surprised!
This is a great rendition of how Judge Dredd the comic character should have been portrayed in the first place. Great direction, decent story and beautifully choreographed fights are what permitted this film to achieve my pessimistic seal of approval!
Karl Urban gets props as well; he not once took off the iconic helmet. I found this an admirable trait that the movie was focused more on the character rather than the actor. It shows that strong, well-written characters played by good actors can really make a movie.
Dredd does contain a fair amount of violence and gore so take the R rating serious when considering. I do recommend this move, but it’s not for everyone on account of the violence.
I give it 8 out of 10