“It’s all about big audiences and money making these days and I’m glad Dredd sticks two dirty fingers up at Hollywood producers.”
By Simon Jago
Once again we visit the world of 2001AD & that familiar character Judge Dredd. However, this time we’ve lost Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schnieder for a more gritty and serious Karl Urban’s chin. That’s right, this time Dredd never takes the helmet off, a little fact that must have all the fan boys wet in their pants. Trailers for this film showed a lot more promise, although it wouldn’t be hard to beat the ‘Dredd’ful original.
In a post apocalyptic world were mankind take refuge in gigantic mega cities, only one thing stands and fights for order in the chaos, the hall of justice. A futuristic police force where the officers are given the license to be judge, jury and executioner. Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is given the task of taking a new recruit Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) out into the field. Dispatched to a tower block called Peach Trees to solve a murder, they find themselves in the middle of a drug manufacturing facility, the highly addictive SLO-MO that makes the user perceive time at 1% its normal speed. Determined to stop Ma-Ma and her gang of drug dealers, the two heroes must climb the tower block from hell for any chance of survival.
Dredd is far from perfect, and I can see why many would dislike it. However, I went in with low expectations and took it for what it was, a sci-fi action flick and in that respect I found it quite enjoyable. The pacing was slow and erratic leaving me feeling like I’d taken some SLO-MO, and I was watching the film at 1% the speed I should have been, but it made up for it with good ideas and a much more appealing darker and gritty style to the character. I’m sure this style is much more similar to the comics than Stallone flying around on a plastic bike screaming “I am the Law!”
Not a bad film, certainly not the best you’ll see this year, but it is refreshing to see a film stand by its convictions and an 18 rated movie perform well on its opening weekend despite the smaller prospective market. It’s all about big audiences and money making these days and I’m glad Dredd sticks two dirty fingers up at Hollywood producers. 18 certificate films can be successful just like the old days!