Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another film review. Today’s review will be on the second film adaptation of the Judge Dredd character in the form of Dredd aka Dredd 3D.
Now I’m not going to lie, when I saw the trailer for this film I wasn’t interested in the film at all. There was nothing that ‘wowed’ me or got me excited for the film in any way. And it also didn’t help that in the trailer and the subsequent TV spots the song “In for the Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey remix)” by La Roux, I really don’t like that song and it was really putting me off watching this film (no joke). But I decided to give this film a shot because I like Karl Urban and I was just hoping that this film would actually be worth my time, and you know what it was actually pretty good.
In Dredd the story goes a little something like this:
“In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop known as Judge Dredd teams with a trainee, Jude Anderson to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.”
The story in this film was good. I was surprised how adult it was as there was a lot of violence, profanity and drug and sexual references. There was a reason why Dredd was rated as an 18 film, the film doesn’t hold back on its violent and chaotic nature. The story is basically a drug bust once Dredd and Anderson get to Peach Trees and from there it’s all about the Judge’s ascension through the tower to get to Ma-Ma and take out her gang. It is a simple yet nice plot and while it starts to drag a little while Dredd and Anderson ascend up the floors to level 200, it’s still pretty interesting.
Though it is the characters of Dredd which are really good and are best element about the film. Karl Urban as Judge Dredd was great, before I watched the film I thought he wouldn’t be intimating or badass enough. Luckily I was proven wrong as Karl Urban does a fantastic job as Dredd, he the no-nonsense, by-the-books kind of law enforcer and when you get on his bad side you might as well ask for death. Urban’s performance is miles ahead of Sylvester Stallone’s hilarious portrayal of the character in the 90s and Urban’s version smartly keeps his helmet on throughout the film and has a very dry sense of humour too. Olivia Thirlby as Anderson was cool and was a much more interesting than I thought she’d be. Her character seems to be the emotional and relatable balance to Dredd’s distant and sometimes emotionless personality. Thirlby does well in her wrong and I was glad to see her actually kick some ass in the film too. And Leena Heady was nice as Ma-Ma, she comes across as on of those antagonists who are in a position of power and don’t have to do much because they have underlings to take care of her work for her. I like how Heady carried herself in the film, though I didn’t find her character as interesting as Dredd or Anderson.
When it comes to the presentation of Dredd its pretty good. There is a nice, gritty and desolate look to the film from the wastelands to Mega-City One and the scenes inside of the tower of Peach Trees. Another impressive thing about the film is how realistic it looks, but has implemented CGI for the futuristic aspects. Unlike in the 90s film where the CGI was used at every given opportunity, in Dredd it’s used appropriately and is limited to certain action sequences and the futuristic city that is Mega-City One. And those fancy slow motion sequences when someone’s on “SLOW-MO” looked pretty and magical. The 3D in the film was good in the slow motion sequences, but otherwise I felt it was just as invisible as it is in other films that have post-converted 3D. As I said before this film is violent, very violent, there is a lot of death, blood and carnage in the action scenes and if you’re not into blood and gore than maybe you should avoid this film, but for me I love that kind of stuff and it worked well in Dredd. Unfortunately the soundtrack for Dredd is a little forgettable, while the action’s going down the music works but after the film’s over I don’t recall much about the music in Dredd and that is rare for me in a comic book film.
Now with Dredd I’ve heard that a lot of people liked this film a lot a for good reason, there is a lot to appreciated about this film. But for me Dredd was missing two quintessential things that make not only comic book films memorable, but just films in general and those things are; memorable action set-pieces/sequences and ‘something special’. One of the things I love about comic book, sci-fi and action films is action set-pieces/sequences, those epic moments of spectacle and well-choreographed action. The spectacle in Dredd is unfortunately nothing special or memorable, that’s not to say it ts terrible or anything, it just isn’t as amazing as film’s in its genre should be. One things that this film easily achieves is that is miles better than the first Judge Dredd film from 1995, the tone, style and adult nature of Dredd puts it in a whole other league from the 90s films.
Dredd’s costume in the new film is much better than Stallone’s 90’s version. Urban’s uniform looks far more practical and better-looking than the 90s version.
In conclusion Dredd is a pretty good film, compared to other comic book films it’s the first time since Watchmen that I’ve seen such a brutal and more adult film in the cinema of this genre. Karl Urban gives us a fine performance as Judge Dredd, the action scenes are big and violent and I’m glad to report that this film wasn’t the boring time I thought it’d be. While Dredd doesn’t become an instant classic and is missing memorable set pieces action and sequences, it’s still a film I would recommend and if there is a sequel I would like to see what the writers comes up with.
Well that’s been my review ladies and gents, hopefully you enjoyed and drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts on this film. Until the review this is me signing out! 🙂