Archive Review: Dredd (2012)

Sometimes, I just miss stupid movies with a lot of shit blowing up and ridiculous costumes.  And boy did this movie give me both those things.

Certificate: 18

Director: Pete Travis

Screenwriter: Alex Garland

Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey

Genre: Action, Crime

Runtime: 95 Minutes

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

In a dystopian future Earth, the area between New York and Boston has become a crime-ridden urban mass of 800 million people known as Mega City. Keeping the peace are combination policemen-judges who make the arrests, determine guilt and then execute the sentence. Judge Dredd is among the best at what he does and he is assigned a rookie, Cassandra Anderson, who did not meet the minimum requirements for the job but who has one talent most do not: she is a mutant with psychic abilities. They soon find themselves inside Peach Trees, a 200 story building that houses among many others Ma-Ma a gangster who produces the drug of choice in Mega City, slo-mo. Ma-Ma shuts the building down determined that Dredd and Anderson will never again see the light of day. – From IMDB

With the shortage of Comic Book Movies this year, I found myself suffering a strange kind of withdrawal.  I missed watching people in stupid outfits, and good lord are the outfit here dumb, especially for poor Karl Urban, blowing a lot of shit up and taking out entire waves on enemies with their bare hands.  Thankfully for me, there is a plethora of old Comic Book Movies I haven’t seen yet and this week Netflix dropped Dredd right in my lap.  And I for the most part it gave me what I wanted.  But it was a little dated, and a lot cheesy.

It is trying to be gritty and dark with it’s barren and depressing dystopian future, over the top violence, drugs and bad language.  But really it is the same as any dystopian sci-fi world we have seen.  There is nothing particularly stand out about the word building here, it is merely a good platform in which to stage the story.  And I did like the plot.  They could have gone for something outlandish or silly, instead it is a futuristic cops vs drug lord story, a plot device that has been tried and tested a hundred times.  A good idea for an era when Comic Book Films weren’t always making the big bucks that they are pretty much guaranteed to make now.

Karl Urban is a solid main lead here, put the character is a little too one dimensional for me, and I definitely prefer Urban in his more comedic or light-hearted roles.  There just isn’t enough for him to do here.  The same with Olivia Thirlby, as Anderson, her character, though with a little more emotional range, is still very flat.  The same can be said of all the characters.  Lena Heady plays our villainess and while we know she can pull off a good villainous role, she just wasn’t manic or unhinged enough, like all characters here, a little too flat.

Fun for Comic Book Movie fans who are needing a hit, but fairly average in nearly every other area.

‘Dredd’ is streaming now on Netflix.

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