Dredd, a judge in Mega City One, is a member of an elite law force trying to maintain law and order in a post-nuclear America. The movie opens with Judge Dredd(Karl Urban) pursuing criminals in a high speed chase that ultimately leads to their demise in a vehicle crash. However, one escapes and Dredd dispenses his on the spot justice. Back at the judge’s headquarters, Dredd meets with his superior and is given a rookie potential judge to evaluate. She, Anderson as played by Olivia Thirlby, is a borderline candidate to be a judge but she is a pyschic and Dredd’s commanding officer tasks him with finding out if she can make it as a judge. The duo respond to a murder at the Peach Trees mega-block and find themselves wrapped into a tryingly deep situation of bringing justice to murders but also just trying to survive when the gang controlling the mega-block decides that to save themselves and their own the judges will not bet allowed to leave alive.
The production level on this movie is admirable to superb. Sure there are things that look a little fake but I like to think that that some what adds to its comic book origins. Look at scenes when the assailants are using SLO-MO. These scenes in particular look like frames from a graphic novel. As with any futuristic sy-fy movie, a certain suspension of disbelief has to be employed and accepted. Everything in the world has been devastated by a nuclear event but there is enough technology and resources to build weapons that read DNA and build skyscrapers with the foot print of a city block.
Plot? Yeah, sure they have that but this is primarily an action movie. Things blow up and people get shot. There are some great characters though. I liked that Karl Urban always looked like he had a dirty sock under his nose and stuck to that salty, gruff, pissed off demeanor the entire movie. Even Lena Headey pulled off a gritty performance. I guess if you take a beautiful woman and give her a nasty scar on her face she would be quite the bitch.
If you are looking for the Sylvester Stallone version of Judge Dredd, just go watch Judge Dredd. In the Dredd timeline, this movie takes place well before the events of that movie but after he is already a judge. This movie was sold as not a reboot to the Sly Stallone version but rather as a prequel. Let’s be honest though and just admit that it is a reboot and Hollywood was hoping to set up a new franchise. This movie is worthy of a sequel in my option and I hope they do proceed with a sequel.
Best news is that this movie is available on Netflix streaming. It’s kind of funny that Amazon is asking nearly the same price for both the old and new versions of this character. How do you like your Dredd?