Director: Pete Travis
Starring: Karl Urban, Rachel Wood, Andile Mngadi, Porteus Xandau, Jason Cope
Judgement is coming
The American society has fallen on bad terms. Street drugs have become more and more dangerous and lethal and the gangs have become even more brutal than ever before and the same can be said about the new authority in the big cities – the judges.
One of these judges, Judge Dredd is known to be the most tough out there and he is now assigned to train a new recruit named Cassandra. Cassandra has a special gift of being a psychic and with powers like this she can become very valuable to the authorities, but the question is if she can survive her very first assignment with Dredd.
I’m not a huge comic book fan, so my first meeting with Judge Dredd was when I went to the local cinema to watch the 1995 film starring Sylvester Stallone. While that film was entertaining, it felt like there was still more to do with this concept so this remake/reboot/whatever they call it these days is something I welcomed for once.
The setting for this is of course set in the future, but it is a bit too over the top and unrealistic. As mentioned, I’ve never read the comic books so I don’t know how true it is to the original material, but I think they could have created a better universe for this in 2013. And while the original had Stallone, regardless of his portrayal of the Judge, he is still Stallone. Dredd is time this around played by Karl Urban who doesn’t really add much to the macho character.
The film could also benefitted from having more interesting bad guys and even more gangs than what we are presented with here. The stylistic choices might be fancy for some, but I found it to be mostly distracting and flashy for the sake of being flashy. I guess I would have liked it to be more dark and gritty instead of so colorful and fancy. The plot is so basic and simple, making room for plenty of action scenes that does get a bit dull after a bit.
Dredd’s psychic rookie Anderson, played by the lovely Olivia Thirby is interesting, but the character isn’t developed enough to make a mark on the audience. The direction is done by Pete Travis, who has done a couple of other movies but nothing I’m familiar with. I guess he did get the result he wanted, even though it didn’t do that much for me. It does pace well and feel like they got what they set out to get on film.
Dredd ended up being a decent time waster, but it still leaves me with the feeling that so much more could be done with this concept. It’s a film that will be great to put on before you get ready to fall asleep since it requires no thinking to enjoy, at the same time it’s not a film I would recommend anyone to seek out and I doubt I’ll remember much of it ten years from now.