DIRECTOR: Pete Travis
STARRING: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Wood Harris, Lena Headey
GENRE: Science Fiction, Action
COUNTRY: United Kingdom, South Africa
Directed by Pete Travis, Dredd is a film about mankind’s apocalyptic future where humanity is forced to inhabit Mega Cities where hundreds of millions of people are crammed together and expected to live together in peace and harmony. And you know what? It works! The End. HA! You wish! Instead, the outcome is closer to super-gluing 20 Detroits together and giving everyone automatic weapons. And drugs, don’t forget the drugs. When at least a thousand people are murdered on a daily basis in a city the size of Mega City One( which is where the movie takes place by the way), who you gonna call to save your ass? The Judges, of course! Judges are not only judges, but also the jury and in almost every case the executioner. And who is the most kickass of all the judges in the Hall of Justice? Well, after almost 70% of the movie has gone by, you get a hint that the most kickass judge is Judge Dredd(Karl Urban)!
The story begins after Dredd literally incinerates a couple of gun runners and is summoned back to HQ where he is introduced to Cassandra Anderson(Olivia Thirlby), a not-so-promising cadet with abso-fucking-lutely awesome psychic powers. As the Chief Judge explains, Anderson is a mutant because of the radiation outside the walls of the city. Unlike other mutants, she is actually capable of blending into everyday life because she doesn’t have blue skin or laser eyes. Dredd must take Anderson into the field and assess her capabilities as a Judge in a trial-by-fire mission run. They respond to a triple homicide that turns out to be tied to the druggies from the start of the film and begin their “investigation” a.k.a. shooting people until someone starts talking. When the drug lord known as Ma-Ma(Lena Headey) realizes the Judges have taken a key ‘employee’ into custody, she locks down the entire building and declares Judge season open. What ensues is a 45 minute shootout between the two Judges and the crims full of explosives, awesome Judge weapons, good Judges vs. dirty Judges, Ma-Ma leveling an entire floor with miniguns, and someone’s arm gets blown off because they try to use the Judge’s Enforcer II firearms. Eventually Ma-Ma realizes she can’t win against Dredd and Anderson, so she slaps a transmitter to her arm that will trigger a shitload of explosives to level the whole complex if she is killed. So how does Dredd handle this dilemma? He loads her up with her own slow motion drug and chucks her off the side of the building, cause how can a signal get through 200 stories of concrete, right? Well, it works cause Ma-Ma goes sploosh all over the ground floor and Anderson gets her passing grade. Yay! Why yay? Well, ask yourself; when’s the last time you had to take down a drug cartel to earn a passing grade?
I personally like this story more than the original with Sylvester Stallone because in my opinion Karl Urban better portrays what Dredd is: an officer of the law given the liberty to deal out the death sentence in a city riddled with crime up the wazoo. In this film, Dredd is not a genetically perfect officer with an evil twin brother. He’s a down to earth guy who happens to shoot the living shit out of anyone who breaks the law. The. End.
SCORE: 8.0 / 10
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