The last Judge Dredd movie was a mess. Most of us that saw it probably blocked a lot of it out of our minds. If you did see it, do you even remember Diane Lane being in it? You probably just remember Rob Schneider as a terrible sidekick and Sylvester Stallone grumbling “I am the LAAWR!” Stallone wasn’t a very good Judge Dredd, and that movie was terrible.
Now, 17 years later, we have a Dredd movie starring 2000 A.D. comic (where Dredd comes from) fan Karl Urban(Star Trek) that was written by Alex Garland (28 Days Later / Sunshine).
In the movie Dredd is teamed up with rookie officer Anderson, played by Olivia Thirlby (The Darkest Hour), a powerful psychic that is about to undergo her first day/evaluation. Dredd allows Anderson to select a call from one of the thousands control receives daily. She selects a triple homicide at a housing block called Peach Trees. After arriving they realize the deaths were supposed to send a message to drug dealers on the block not to mess with Ma-Ma, the woman that controls the block. They raid an apartment that new popular drug slo-mo is sold out of, and after the raid Anderson, through her psychic powers, realizes one of the men in the apartment is responsible for the murders they were originally there to investigate. Before they’re allowed to leave with their detainee Ma-Ma has the block locked down to prevent them from questioning their captor about the slow-mo operation. The judges then have to fight for their lives against all of Ma-Ma’s thugs and seemingly impossible odds.
- The scenes we see as though we’re on slo-mo are incredibly visually stimulating. They may be a little graphic, especially the one where the guy gets shot in the mouth, but still very fun to watch.
- Karl Urban is great as Dredd. He doesn’t take his helmet off throughout the entire film, as it should be, and he does a great job being expressive with only a small amount of his face showing. Being a judge seems to require a strong chin.
- It’s a minor thing and a weird thing to like, but the sound is done really well. The judges wear leather uniforms and it seemed like whenever one of them moved during a quiet moment you could hear the movement of the leather really well, and I appreciate nice touches like that.
- I didn’t have a problem with it, but it could be a little too violent for most people. It doesn’t pull punches. It’s a hard R.
I was going to write this as a “nay”and that’s unfair because it’s not a bad thing on the film, but no one saw this. It has made back less than half of its budget worldwide. That pretty much cements the fate of this franchise. We can count on there not being another Dredd film, and that saddens me.
Dredd is a great and violentl action movie that deserves to be seen. It’s not heavy on plot, but it is definitely a fun ride that’s WELL worth the price of admission. Hopefully this film lives on with home video sales. I know I’d like to add it my collection. See it if it’s still showing near you.