Its been quite a while since doing one of these.
Dredd is the second movie based on UK comic icon Judge Dredd. The super-serious Mega City 1 officer battling crime and corruption in a post apocalyptic future. In 2012 a new film starring Karl Urban as the famed Judge rolled into the theaters but disappeared quickly. However for most people who saw it, Dredd was one of the most buzzed about films that 2012 had to offer and my favorite film of that year.
Going into Dredd I was concerned. Earlier in the year Raid: Redemption was released and the two shared a common plot device involving officers entering a slum and moving upward to take on a crime boss. While its not a new concept the timing was bad. Raid had a lot of buzz and great reviews so when Dredd’s trailer hit there were comparisons and remarks about it. However, despite the similarity in plot, I checked it out. I thought the trailer was fine with Karl Urban’s delivery, the slo-mo scenes, and that cool remix of La Roux’s In For the Kill. I even got a 3D ticket and I generally avoid 3D. I stepped into a mostly empty theater and walked out seriously hyped.
Dredd follows the title character and rookie Judge Anderson responding two a triple homicide at one of the major slums Peach Tree. There they seek to pick up anyone connected with what they believe to be a turf crime. Thanks to Andersons psychic powers the pick up the right guy. However the queen of Peach Tree, Mama played by the entertaining Lena Headey, has different plans. Worried the dealer will snitch and spoil her operation as the source of the new drug Slo-Mo she needs the Judges dead. Too bad for her this is the singularly focused Judge Dredd.
This film is action. Big action. Dazzling action. The slo-mo scenes enhance the quality of the action. Whether it was in 3D or just high def it looks amazing. Having good action scenes is always the main aspect of an action film. You can have a badly acted, directed, and scripted action film redeemed in part by brilliant fights or sequences. Luckily for Dredd the action is only one excellent aspect. The script is very simple and as such does not get too full of itself or makes dumb choices. It unfolds in the right manner and has the right twist and turns to keep you into it. Thanks to the strong direction Pete Travis the film just flows. The cast does a damn fine job. Karl Urban plays Dredd as he really is-simple. Dredd is not a fancy, complicated individual. He is the law. Olivia Thirlby is wonderful as Anderson. The upstart Judge trying to prove herself. Really its her and Lena doing the heavy scenes. Urban does not have to, he grimaces, throws a bad ass line, and then shoots someone in the face. Without Anderson this film would really be missing something. Not to take away anything from Urban as Dredd.
This film was amazing.I tried reading Dredd comics after this and believe me-didn’t care. Dredd is someone I can only take in small chunks if he is not paired with someone interesting. That said I got the Brian Bolland collection and its beautiful and has the original Judge Anderson and Judge Death stuff. Glorious. When the video came out I went to Best Buy and they were sold out. this was only a couple days after its release. Once I found out I played that DVD constantly, sharing the movie with my friends. Its a great science fiction action film. I love it and really hope it gets a sequel, as slim a chance as that is.