I’m far from being a massive Judge Dredd Fan: I saw the 1995 film and have read 3 graphic novels. I know that good old Sly Stallone removing his helmet was a massive no-no. The trailer for the new Dredd looked amazing and promised a grittier ultra-violent adaptation of the much admired 2000AD’s comic book character.
Dredd 3D is loud, bloody and in your face with a plot brutally to the point. The world of Mega City One is torn and dark and the judges are the law, plain and simple.
The judges themselves are kited out with lawmasters, and their individual lawgivers. They are the only weapon against the corrupt dystopia of a nuclear mauled future. Their armor doesn’t entire match the presence it has in the comics, but adds a sense of reality and practicality.
Karl Urban as Dredd embodies the violence, honour and dry humour of the comics well. Assigned a Rookie Judge (Anderson played by Olivia Thirlby) for assessment, when the pair check out a homicide the investigation turns ugly, leaving the judges with no back-up, and with no escape. Lena Headey is entirely unrecognisable from St Trinians as Mama, a ruthless gang leader with no qualms about trapping and hunting down two judges to keep her turf and secrets safe.
The Judges battle against the residence of the block floor by floor in an unblinking blood bath of bullets and flames. With a prisoner in tow and the new recruit mildly unprepared Dredd does what he does best, exact justice.
This film is worth seeing in 3D for the SLO-MO sequences and the sheer viciousness. The soundtrack is brash, aggressive and compliments the tone of the film. There is no panning away and the 18 rating is more than justified.
Will it fair better with the fans than the previous film? Yes, and it’s likely to grab some new fans too. It made me want to immerse myself further into Mega City One, but don’t take my word for it. Go and Judge it for yourself.