He is the law…He is Judge Dredd…in 3D no less…

3 Sep

So not only was I lucky enough to catch Dredd 3D before it hits cinemas this week, I was also lucky enough to interview the man himself Karl Urban and Producer Allon Reich at the swanky Soho Hotel. Both were absolutely lovely and the film for me was a fantastic use of 3D and just all round fun! Fingers crossed for a sequel! Here are my thoughts in a little more detail and also the interviews themselves.

The Plot:

The future. America is an irradiated wasteland. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC lies Mega City One, a vast, violent metropolis of over 400 million citizens living in perpetual fear. The only ones attempting to impose order in the urban chaos are The Judges. Law enforcers, juries, judges and executioners rolled into one. The epitome of these Judges is Dredd. The Chief Judge gives Dredd a mission. To road test a rookie Judge, the powerful psychic Cassandra Anderson. It is going to be a training day. The Judges head for a seemingly routine homicide in the notorious Peach Trees mega-block – a 200 story vertical slum run by the pitiless Ma-Ma Clan. When the Judges attempt to arrest one of Ma-Ma’s chief henchmen, Ma-Ma shuts down the entire building and orders her clan to hunt the Judges down. Our two judges are now caught in a vicious and relentless fight for survival.

The Good:

Well, welcome to the future ladies and gents, and boy is it bleak! It seems that any hope of clearing up the streets of America and living in harmony is well and truly out the window, instead we have a wasteland – oh Joy! But its not all bad folks, our brutal police has seemingly risen to the challenge of governing this dystopian future. Setting the scene for a distinctly fun filled action packed ride. An ultra-violent tale of a normal day in the office gone slightly askew for the legendary law dispensing  Dredd.

Unlike the infamous 90′s Sylvester Stallone version, this re-awakening of Judge Dredd, manages to avoid making this comic book adaptation unintentionally laughable. This time Dredd (Karl Urban) really does work his lower jaw at all the right times, and provides welcome light relief to some extensively violent scenes.  Urban’s Dredd, brings us the comic book character we’ve been waiting for.  Emotionless, driven and without any sob story context for how he came to be the toughest cop in Mega City One. Judge Dredd simply is exactly what he is. So if its action you’re after, then its action you are going to get.

The other characters in the film work well too without relying on huge Hollywood names.  Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) and Ma-Ma (Lena Heady)  are  engaging, understated disturbing and complex; as their characters joust with Dredd for your attention.

If you’re not a fan of comic book adaptations, then don’t be alarmed by yet another hitting your cinema screens. This is a far cry from The Avengers and doesn’t have the “this could actually happen” feel of Nolan’s Batman trilogy either. Dredd really isn’t for kids, and that 18 certificate is slapped all over it for a reason! To top it off, it really is in glorious 3D. Dredd is one of those films that uses the effect for a very good reason. There are some spectacular slo-mo “300” esq moments which really do engulf the audience; with the audio soundtrack pumping through your blood you feel almost as if you are a spectator in Peach Trees complex.

The Bad:

It’s difficult  to find to many faults with Dredd, but if you did watch recent Asian action effort The Raid, then you may find it hard to shake the suspicion you’ve seen key elements of this story somewhere before. It’s unfortunate that both films coincidentally built themselves around the same concept, but if you missed The Raid in cinemas, then prepare to be wowed this time. Equally, those wanting to find out more about Judge Dredd’s origins, may find the lack of backstory frustrating. This film picks a moment in time and concentrates on it, no more, no less.

Finally, be warned, Dredd does not hold back from its violence. Where you’d expect a jump cut to spare you from seeing the inevitable after a point blank shooting, it just isn’t there. Within the first five minutes be prepared to see a head implode in grisly 3D detail. Director Pete Travis (Endgame) clearly delights in making audiences squirm, his approach will either be exhilarating or nauseating depending on your constitution.

The Ugly Truth:

Dredd 3D is a gore-fest action flick which keeps your pulses racing from start to finish. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of what the world could look like in a few years time, but whilst we speculate on whether or not that is the future spend a tenner in the cinema to check it out in all its 3D glory as its most definitely worth a watch.



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