Having just finished watching Dredd 3D, it seemed like an appropriate time to review the film. The movie is a reboot of the 1995 film Judge Dredd, with not only a different cast, but also a wildly different plot attached to the film. Being a fan of the original film, it is a little hard to imagine anyone else playing the role of Dredd, but Karl Urban is definitely a respectable choice for the role. Sure, his voice may not have the same appeal to it, but he plays the stoic role in a fantastic manner and seems to fit the role perfectly. One major thing to make note of is that in this film, Dredd never takes off his helmet, something that fans of the comic series will be happy to learn.
As you can see in the trailer, there are some moments in the film which are shot in slow motion with highlighted colours and hues. While this may seem out of place in an action movie, it fits in with the plot nicely as the antagonist has introduced a drug called “slow-mo” into Mega City 1 which makes the user feel as if everything is going in slow motion. The effect is only used when the drug is somehow involved with the scene, and these slow motion clips add a bit of beauty and grace to an action movie, which is almost unheard of in a summer that hosted The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Expendables 2, none of which are really known for having artistic violence so much as brutal or over-the-top violence. Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of plain action and violence, but these stylized scenes are a welcome addition to the film.
If you wish to hear about the plot of the movie, continue reading this section. If you do not want to hear any more of the details, skip ahead to the next picture.
The premise of the movie is that Dredd must take a new prospective Judge out with him for an assessment, and this rookie happens to have psychic abilities due to being born within a radioactive area. While investigating a triple homicide in one of the worst blocks in all of Mega City 1, the block gets locked down by a gang leader known as Ma-Ma. She informs the residents that there are two judges inside of their block and that she wants them dead. What started off as a routine investigation has now become a struggle for survival as gang members and some select residents of a 200 level complex try to kill Dredd and the rookie.
On top of wanting to solve the triple homicide and locate those responsible, Dredd now wants to shut down Ma-Ma and her entire criminal activity consisting of producing and distributing slow-mo. Of course, since this is Judge Dredd we’re talking about, there is only one acceptable sentence for Ma-Ma… death.
The level of violence escalates as the movie progresses, reaching truly remarkable levels, some of which involve multiple miniguns being used in an attempt to eradicate the judges, as well as some incredible shootouts. There are several twists in the plot along the way, and while some of them are fairly easy to see coming, others are not and will act as a pleasant surprise to movie-goers.
This film is certainly a large deviation from the Stallone version of the 90’s, but that is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. The writers made sure to keep some of the one-liners and the dry humour in the movie, but toned it down a little bit to fit the gritty nature of the film. You will also be happy to know that Dredd still manages to slip “I am the law!” into the movie. If you’ve a fan of the first movie, a fan of the comic series, or even a fan of action movies, I highly recommend this film. It isn’t receiving much attention at the box office, but it is definitely a film worth watching.
Score: 4 stars out of 5
When Eric isn’t busy playing judge, jury, and executioner, he is an editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.
… I AM THE LAW!