In 1995, the movie audience was introduced to the comic book character who is judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one. Judge Dredd is a no-nonsense lawman who believed worship the law. For the big screen adaptation, Sylvester Stallone took on the titular role and turned Dredd into a laugh stock for moviegoers and abomination for the Dredd-heads. This time, Karl Urban makes his rounds in Mega City One. Will this new Dredd finally bring justice to its franchise or rack up new charges? Judge Rogers will the findings of Dredd 3D.
In the not-too-distant future, America has fallen into disarray. Mega City One, a vast metropolis stretching from Boston to Washington DC, and its citizens are under of shroud of violence. The only force to control the ongoing violence is a new breed of police officers who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and executioner – they are known as “judges”.
The most revered of all judges in the city is Judge Dredd (Karl Urban). One day, he is assigned to evaluate Judge Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) – a rookie who possesses the power of second sight due to her upbringing from the dreaded Cursed Earth. Dredd must also investigate a disturbing incident at the 200-story mega block known as Peach Trees. Dredd and Anderson must take down a druglord named Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). Ma-Ma, a former prostitute who worked and slayed her way to the top, is dispensing a powerful drug called Slo-Mo, a drug that makes its users witness the world around them in a slower pace.
During the initial raid, the two judges apprehended Ma-Ma’s right hand man Kay (Wood Harris) and planned to take him downtown for interrogation. Once Ma-Ma discovered this, she lockdown the entire complex and placed a bounty on the judges’ head. With no back-up nor allies, Dredd and Anderson are forced to fight their way through 200 stories of criminals, thugs and Ma-Ma’s clan in order to survive. The purpose: to bring law into a lawless world.
If you feel you have heard it all before, you HAVE! Remember Gareth Evans’s flick “The Raid: Redemption” earlier this year? The premise of both films is too similar. For director Pete Travis, he quickly establishes that our beloved law man and his rookie partner to fight from the ground floor to the top while dispensing extreme justice along the way.
With the latest advancement in film, you will experience the effects of the drug. You will get to see someone free fall to their death, Ma-Ma taking a bath taking in every drop, explosions and a smoker getting his jaw shot off while spewing blood in a fraction of a second.
For our Dredd-heads, they can breathe a sigh of relief as this film captures the grim, violent world of the original 2000 AD Comic Strip. Urban follows the golden rule of Dredd by keeping his helmet on for the entire movie. With only his mouth and chin exposed, he delivers a performance that can be deadly if you ever cross his path or commit a crime on his watch. It was exciting to see Headey play a deranged drug lord with a heart of evil.
The 3D aspect does look cool but aside from the slo-mo scenes, it was unnecessary. The action was non-stop excitement for the first half of the movie but suddenly slowed down it’s the second. The anti-climactic ending leaves a lot of questions to be desired. For an action film, I prefer to have my action to keep going and going. I want an ending to leave me speechless. For Dredd, it failed to meet those standards.
Now, its time to pass sentence of this flick. For improving the quality of the franchise, I find you GUILTY. For being a great action flick, I find you NOT GUILTY.
The sentence is a final grade of C+
Issued by the orders of Judge Dean Rogers, sworn on Friday, September 21, 2012