Directed by: Pete Travis
Starring: Karl Urban, Lena Headey, Olivia Thirlby, Rakie Ayola and Wood Harris.
Depending on how it performs in the long run, Karl Urban might have just found his franchise. The movie is set in a future where the nuclear wars of the past annihilated the world (Sound familiar?). Now, with over eight hundred million inhabitants, they live in Mega City One, the future of the world, where nothing has changed really. There is still crime, drugs, sex and of course, law enforcement. But, this particular law enforcement operates as Judge, Jury and Executioner under the protection of the Hall of Justice.
Odd, no? A movie of this caliber has the title "Hall of Justice" and no sign of the Justice League. Regardless, it doesn't cripple the movie for me, but took me off guard significantly. Judges, as they are called, are the elite cops in this new world that operate like robots as they shoot to kill when their new laws tell them to. Dredd (Urban) is known as the hero among the Judges; the best in line. He is tough, but fragile. By fragile, I mean he is human and uses the tough guy gravely voice to shield what other's shouldn't be poking their heads in. We only see this short lived character development once Judge Anderson (Thirlby). The fallout of the nuclear war affected many of the youth, physically for the most part, condemning them to be called Mutants (a popular term as of late). Anderson is a mutant, with telekinetic abilities, where she can detect individuals by reading their minds and/or mind crush them if the opportunity presented itself.
While the plot takes place at a hobo/drug corner infested hotel, the main story is the evaluation on Judge Anderson by Judge Dredd. Dredd is no different than any cop movie, so you know what to expect on the physical action. The plot revolves on Ma-Ma (Headey) a once-upon-a-time hooker turned kingpin of the drug world with Slo-Mo, when inhaled, the brain slows down what the sight emulates, making weed seem like pixie stick sugar (Assuming, I am). Lena has come far in her career since first gazing at her beauty in The Jungle Book, where now she plays the meanest queen of all time in Game of Thrones, making her the perfect candidate. The disappointment is that she doesn't get physical the way I would have expected, given the setting and the nature of the character. The same can be said for Dredd, where his action is highly dependant on his weapon than his fists. Regardless, I was entertained in wholesome. The drug mode can seem pretty but undoubtedly might feel dependent on the 3D to deliver it's purpose. But, the action? Very entertaining, especially when you have Lena behind a gatling gun blowing half a wing sector full of men, women and children.
My other problems with the movie was how compact some of the technology was portrayed, including Dredd's helmet. Futuristic and modern yes, but not modern enough to the standards I was expecting to be met. Kind of like with 3D and the Terminator ride. Still, With Miss Thirlby and Madam Hadey and Urban getting some dark badass moments, Dredd 3D kicks Stallone's version on the fat lip.
Overall, fun, and delivers nothing but.
Written by: Bawnain©-Dexeus.