If your a film of the comics and a film of action movies in general then you HAVE to see this movie. I cannot emphasize this enough. You may have vague memories of a Sylvester Stallone movie entitled Judge Dredd. Forget about that one and burn the memory from your mind.
Dredd 3D is essentially a reboot of the franchise on a smaller budget which stars Karl Urban as the rough edged Judge Dredd as he takes criminals on one at a time in the sprawling Mega City One. The premise of the movie is that he is teamed with a rookie Judge named Anderson (played by Olivia Thirlby) as she is a mutant telepath who is to be brought into the force as an asset. Dredd is to supervise her and test her but they soon stumble into a block war with the Ma Ma gang.
Dredd is action packed from start to finish. It’s unapologetic in the violence and revels in the gritty nature of the setting of Mega City One. Karl Urban’s enterpretation of Dredd is spot on. He is rough around the edges and does not hesitate to do what needs to be done. In fact he seems to even enjoy the havok. One of the interesting aspects is that throughout the movie Dredd will never remove his helmet. This is done purposely as he is to be seen first and formost as a judge. Anderson is the reluctant trainee who doesn’t have Dredd’s ability to kill however justified by their “law” they may be. As the movie progresses we get some depth from the character and despite their differences, Dredd and Anderson make an actual good team. Ma Ma is played by Lena Headey who does a great job at playing a psychotic criminal gang leader. She stands her ground and makes an interesting opponent for Dredd.
Dredd 3D as the title indicates uses 3D but not in a tacked on way. While lots of movies these days will make everything in 3D but never really impress, Dredd uses it for some really awesome effects. They use it often during drug induced scenes as the characters take this new drug called Slow Mo. It’s very impressive how some of the effects actually feel right in front of you. They also use 3D during fights especially with close up gun shots. One memorable moment is a gunshot through the face all in slow motion and 3D.
Being on a smaller budget and being a turf war within a huge block in Mega City One, Dredd has a very closed atmosphere. It’s dark and gritty and shows us the harsh life of people in that world. But while there isn’t an abundance in classy looking scenery, the more cramp areas really work well.
Dredd 3D does what it was meant for and that is entertain. If your a fan of the comics you will be pleased as this redeems the franchise on the silver screen. Unfortunately as of this writing a lot of people have not seen it and it’s not doing particularly well. And it is a damn shame too as this is leaps and bounds better then it predecessor and on a lesser budget.
If there is one movie you should give a chance to this year it is this one. I don’t think you will be disappointed and hopefully we can see Karl Urban as Dredd again sometime in the near future. It would be a shame not to explore the gritty world of Mega City One.