August 25, 2013


Pete Travis, 2012

In a violent futuristic America, the crime rate is high along with the murder rate. Judges serve as the police force, playing a wide role of being the Judge, Jury and Executioner to the criminals that are running rampant. Judge Dredd gets paired up with a psychic rookie looking to join the force. They get a call to a high rise building controlled by gang-leader Mama, who has been supplying the city with popular drug SLO-MO.

Dredd is a surprisingly bloody picture, ripe with violence and gore. It's certainly a comic-book film for adults, much like Watchmen or Sin City. It's style over substance, with some really memorable visual elements. When the criminals inhale SLO-MO, it slows the world down to 1% of its normal speed. The visual manifestation of this through the eyes of the camera is really well done. It's reminiscent to the brain drug in Limitless. The plot of the film is quite simplistic, video-game-like, with Dredd trying to work his way up to the boss on the top floor of the building. The plot is similar to the french zombie film The Horde, without the zombies of course. The constant visual distraction is much needed because without it the film would REALLY drag on. Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) knows how to play a villain, which she does well here. Fans of The Wire will be pleased to see Wood Harris (who played Avon Barksdale in The Wire) who plays Kay, one of Mama's soldiers. It's difficult to gauge Karl Urban's performance as Dredd, because Dredd himself is such a reserved character. His tone is similar to Bale's Batman in the Dark Knight Trilogy without the comprehensive back-story. Pete Travis doesn't provide much a back-story here. He directs a film that's CGI-Porn to say the least, and while it may not be loaded with story, it's a feast for the eyes.

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