Judgement is coming
Dredd is the second attempt to bring the exploits of Mega-City One’s finest to the screen, after a disappointing attempt in 1995. Karl Urban (Eomer in LOTR and Dr McCoy in the new Trek) dons the helmet as the notorious judge to take down Ma-ma, a drug lord (Lena Headey) occupying one of Mega-City One’s skyscrapers. That’s all you need to know, and pretty much all there is to know. Dredd, being Dredd, has a job to do and will brook no interference.
Dredd‘s action scenes are brutal and unsentimental, taking great pleasure in the graphic disintegration of the human body, every bit as lovingly as in the comic. It’s also laced with dark humor and a suitably mean streak. Fans of the comic will find little reason to gripe: criminals are handled with little or no mercy, and Dredd’s face always stays where it should be – beneath the helmet.
Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) fights by his side, as the rookie being assessed for the job. (I assume screenwriter Alex Garland wanted to give at least one of the leads something of a character arc, because I remember a similar rookie storyline from the comic, only with a male judge.)
On release, Dredd was roundly drubbed and accused of being monotonous and taking itself too seriously, but I respectfully disagree; Dredd is a faithful adaptation, but you have to be in on the joke to enjoy it fully. Furthermore, it’s not the creators’ fault that that the actual world is catching up to many of the less savory aspects of the comic’s prediction of the future.
Dredd is the law. And still the man.
- Director: Pete Travis
- Cast: Karl Urban, Lena Headey, Olivia Thirlby