Dredd 3D (2012)
Studio: IM Global
Directed By: Pete Travis
Writers: Carlos Ezquerra (Characters), Alex Garland (Screenplay), John Wagner (Characters)
Starring: Karl Urban (Judge Dredd), Olivia Thirlby (Anderson), Lena Heady (MaMa)
Length: 95 Minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Mega City-One is a vast city that is home to 800 million people and stretches from Boston to Washington DC. Outside the walls is an irradiated wasteland, behind the walls is a crime ridden city. The Hall of Justice is the haven for the only law within the city…the Judges. The Judges are just that….judge, jury, and executioner. The greatest Judge of them all is Dredd (Karl Urban). Dredd does his job and does it to the letter of the law, literally, so good that he is the most feared throughout the city. On this day, Dredd has to evaluate a rookie Judge, Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), who happens to be a psychic mutant, and an orphan taken in to be trained as a Judge. Dredd must evaluate her, and see if she has what it takes to be a Judge in Mega City-One
There is a new force in Mega City-One, it’s called “Slo-Mo”, a drug that is inhaled and slows the brain and reality down to a fraction of it’s normal speed. The leader of the cartel is Ma-Ma (Lena Heady), once a prostitute turned drug lord, and she is to be feared and respected. Ma-Ma runs the Peach Trees building, a 200 story highrise , which is a haven for junkies, homeless, and less fortunate. It is also, where the story takes place.
Once Dredd has been assigned to evaluate Anderson, they choose to answer a call at the Peach Trees, where three bodies have fallen from several stories. Through investigation, the Judges determine where the crime took place, and proceed to do what they do…JUDGE. When a ranking member of Ma-Ma’s gang has been arrested and is to be interrogated, she does whatever she can to keep that from happening. The Peach Trees building is completely locked down, with no way out. Dredd and Anderson are now targets for cartel, and the only way to survive is to work their way to the top to find Ma-Ma, judge her, and destroy her operation.
Let me tell you that I stayed away from knowing anything about this film. I didn’t look at images, read articles, or anything. I went in blind, other than re-watching Sly Stallone’s Judge Dredd from 1995. I enjoyed the film from 1995, but something was missing…oh yeah the violence, violence, violence, and the fact that Dredd never takes off the helmet. All of which was what made the Stallone version kinda blah.
In this new incarnation of Judge Dredd, Karl Urban kills it from the start. He brings an intensity to the character that was previously lacking. His grit and lack of expression during the film was great. He became Dredd. Lena Heady put on a gritty no-frills performance of her own as Ma-Ma. She pulled off the psychotic drug lord, who doesn’t take shit from anyone, especially Judge Dredd. Olivia Thirlby as Judge Anderson pulled off the nervous and undecided rookie Judge part pretty good. She did show a vulnerability of her character at the beginning, but also showed the progression of her character by the end of the film.
The big winner in this one is the 3D…it’s done pretty damn good, considering I am not a fan of 3D films. The gimmick actually worked in this one. The special EFX and CGI were killer in this film, another win in my book. The kills in this film were great with the 3D, and all the “Slo-Mo” drug effects were awesome.
One of my favorite comic characters that finally has a film that takes care of business and show the bad guys, who is the law! People get out of the house and get to the theater and watch this film. It’s damn good and gives you what you want in a Judge Dredd film. A good film doesn’t deserve to die a horrible death at the box office….support this film so there will be a sequel. Urban needs to be Dredd from now on.
I AM THE LAW!!!!
8 out of 10, a definite watch and a definite purchase on Bluray when it hits the shelves for sure!
Haddonfield Hatchet, Co-Host, Land of the Creeps Horror Podcast