Hurray, another movie from the nineties is getting a remake! Wow, I can’t wait to see more of these, said no one ever… But wait, there’s more… This one is in 3D, with stuff flying into your face and blood and shit (well, not actual shit). However, the movie we’re going to be talking about today is an outlier. Behind the simple title Dredd, hides an action-packed movie featuring excellent special effects and an even better structure. We will be following Judge Dredd as he clears a huge apartment building, level by level, of all the unlawful elements. The movie stars none other than Eomer himself, Karl Urban, and Lena Headey, now starring in Game of Thrones.
As you can notice, the movie Dredd, 2012 edition, is very different from Judge Dredd, 1995 edition. Starring Sylvester Stallone, that was more of a sprawling tale of violence, corruption, and revenge. It was more in line with action science fiction movies of that era like Total Recall or Demolition Man. Dredd reduces those elements to a bare minimum and focuses on kinetic action and dazzling special effects. It offers a pulpy, almost neo-noir vision of the future that’s somewhere between Blade Runner and The Fifth Element. However, the structure of the movie is a whole different story.
Just a year ago we had the pleasure of watching one of the best action movies of this decade, The Raid: Redemption. This Indonesian masterpiece followed a squad of elite cops clearing an apartment building evil crime boss was using as his base level by level. This leveled structure first appears in Bruce Lee’s last movie Game of Death. Another good example is the 2008 movie The Punisher 2 starring Ray Stevenson. Of course, the boom of the video game market could also be responsible for this. In the end, it doesn’t really matter how we ended up with it. What’s important is that fucking works.
Welcome to the world of tomorrow! An irradiated wasteland that stretches as far as the eye can see. However, in this horrific place, we still find life in bustling megacities resisting decaying nature. Full of crime, corruption, and poverty, these places rely on Judges to keep the rule of law. They’re judges, juries, and executioners, dispatching threats with haste and precision. In Mega City One, Judge Dredd is the best one. Now, Dredd and his young psychic partner Cassandra must make a high-profile arrest. A task that’s going to test their skills to the limit.
The original title for this movie is Dredd 3D meaning that this is another one of those 3D movies. I personally love watching these movies in the theater and I’m willing to swallow all the shit thrown at me in subsequent, 2D viewings. We will get just a couple of these scenes you clearly see were made to take full advantage of this old/new technology. So, the movie is perfectly watchable and, more importantly, worth watching, in the comfort of your home. With the hefty budget of $45 million, production values are excellent along with props and special effects. Dredd is just a cool movie with a cool protagonist played pitch-perfect by Mr. Urban.
Did you know that he did not take off his helmet even in between takes? He stayed in character for the whole time. He also didn’t take his helmet off in the movie, unlike Sly who took it off the first chance he got. The action scenes are quite graphic and brutal. I mean, Dredd shoots a flare into a bad guy’s mouth not ten minutes into the movie. We also have the popular “bullet-time” enabling us to see the shootouts from another perspective. So, if you’re looking for an adrenaline-fueled, sleek, and action-packed futuristic movie that will keep you entertained for ninety minutes, you’ve just found it in Dredd.
Director: Pete Travis
Writers: John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Alex Garland
Cast: Karl Urban, Lena Headey, Olivia Thirlby, Rakie Ayola, Wood Harris