Another summer has passed, with plenty of sequels and reboots, with even more on the way, yet we still remain amazed that we have yet to see a Dredd 2!
From director Pete Travis, who directed thriller Vantage Point and a script from Alex Garland (Sunshine; 28 Days Later & Ex Machina) this film about an established 2000 AD comic character, should have had no trouble finding an audience yet it did!
Considered a flop on release, with all reasons being attributed to it, from poor marketing; not enough 2D screenings being released; poor marketing; being too similar to The Raid and even bad memories of the Sylvester Stallone 1995 version Judge Dredd!
Botton line is this is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best action films we have ever seen, and we’ve seen a few!
In the future, Mega City One, is a violent place with some 400 million residents and as such, some 17,000 crimes are committed a day, to with the law can only respond to 6% of them.
The only force for order, are Judges, who carry out sentences immediately as Judge, Jury and Executioner. The most respected of these is Dredd (Karl Urban)
The film is set up with a great chase sequence, where on his bike, Dredd takes down a gang of criminals and hands out his form of justice.
The Chief Judge (Rakie Ayola) has assigned Dredd with a Rookie on his return, to see if she is up to the task of being a Judge. The rookie, Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) is deemed to be a mutant, because she is a powerful psychic.
Dredd asked her to choose the first call, to which she chooses an incident at Peach Towers, a 200 storey tower block, full of the unemployed and desperate, with the highest crime rate.
We soon learn that this is also the base of operation for the Sl0w-Mo drug, which reduces the perception of time to 1% of normal for the user)
The main distributor and seller of this drug are the Ma-Ma gang, led by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and when she finds out that the Judges have taken Kay (Wood Harris) into their custody, she orders the tower block to be put into war mode, which involves heavy shutters closing everyone in.
With everyone trapped with inside the block, Ma-Ma offers a huge financial reward to anyone who can kill the judges, leaving a relentless battle between the law and the criminals.
This even includes a sequence where non-stop guns are released onto a floor the Judges are on, which we found to be very like the shooting up of the jungle in Predator.
Dredd and Anderson do everything they can to avoid getting killed, and this involves some very violent and bloody shoot outs, including some with corrupt Judges. Needless to say the film ends with Dredd facing Ma-Ma leaving only justice or crime to win Peach Towers.
The film is pretty much great in every way, even the score from Paul Leonard Morgan is also excellent. The design team have done a fantastic job on the $35m budget on the sets, CGI and FX.
Urban is superb, as always, in the title role, and unlike Stallone, never removes his helmet to keep to the comic roots of the character.
Thirlby is excellent as Anderson, and adds real character to the film, she certainly isn’t in the film, just to look good, as can sometimes be the way with female characters, in films of this nature.
On that note,Headey also gives excellent value as the villain of the film. In fact, the woman are all especially well represented in this film when of course Dredd’s boss is also a woman!
The 3D of the film is used exceptionally well too, from showing the depth of the tower blocks to the slowness of time in the SlowMo drug taking sequences.
This film is very violent and at times relentless, so way ahead of time before Deadpool made it popular for comic heroes to be R-Rated.
If we were to compare it to anything, then the original Robocop would not be doing it an injustice. It certainly will wipe out all memories of the awful Stallone version!
We really can not recommend this film enough, and we are sure should you see it too, you will probably be checking the internet/social media daily for news of a sequel, which has again gathered pace, following the film finding a bigger audience when released into the home market on DVD and BluRay
Do you want a Dredd 2? What are your favourite R-Rated action films? We would love to hear from you hear at Barking Mad About Films
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