Earlier in life, I was treated to the action buffet that was Judge Dredd, featuring Stallone and a cast of other well known actors who were given an almost “Joel Schumacher” treatment. Short of nipples on the suit, 95′s Judge Dredd was just about awful in every way. But I can still stick with it, because it was the 90′s and comic book movies were mostly terrible anyways. So when I saw the franchise was being reborn, you can imagine I was slightly skeptical, but I went with an open mind and was completely blown away by how awesome it actually turned out to be.
Karl Urban totally surprised me in the role of Dredd, given the last time I had seen him was Red with Bruce Willis. If I could quantify his version of the character, it would be somewhere between Bale’s Batman and the original Robocop. There weren’t more than maybe 2 one liners, and the movie carried a very serious tone, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Another surprise was the adorable Olivia Thirlby as the mutant telepath, Judge-Recruit Anderson, proving to be much more capable than she is shown to be at the beginning of the movie.
*SPOILER ALERT* (maybe) The plot of the movie is set in Peach Trees, one of many “mega-structures” that comprise Megacity 1. A simple drug bust/training mission turns into something much more serious when Dredd apprehends a dealer with ties to MaMa, the main cartel figurehead in Megacity 1. This is the part that I really liked. The entire movie was inside of one giant locked down building. No hover bikes running through the city, no future style clothing, nothing cheesy. Just good hard action, and the 3d wasn’t overdone either. It was basically there to just promote the effects of the narcotic Slow-mo, a drug that causes the brain to perceive time passing at 1% of normal speed. And if you love stylized violence/gore, you will love the Slow-mo kills.
All in all, Dredd 3D was pretty awesome, didn’t go overboard on 3D, stayed pretty true to the franchise being serious and gritty and was completely believable. This is definitely one to see in the theaters, then pick it up on Blu-ray! 5/5 stars from me!
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