Dredd

"Excellent"

Dredd Review


If you can still remember Sylvester Stallone's ridiculous 1995 sci-fi action romp Judge Dredd, don't worry. This is not a remake. It's a film actually based on the graphic novels themselves, so it has a completely different style of characters and setting. Leaner and much meaner, it's also one of the most textured and intelligent futuristic bloodbaths in ages.

It's the not-so-distant future, and 800 million people are crammed into the only remaining inhabitable area in North America, a mega-city that covers the East Coast. With so many people, crime is out of control, so cops and lawyers have been replaced with judges who arrest, try and execute criminals on the spot. Dredd (Urban) is a particularly efficient judge, assigned one day to take trainee Anderson (Thirlby) with him for evaluation. But they walk into a nasty gang war in a 200-storey tower block, where snarling gang boss Ma-Ma (Headey) locks them in and starts hunting them down. And while Dredd and Anderson have to be careful not to kill the block's innocent residents, Ma-ma doesn't care how many people die.

The narrative is as focussed as Dredd is, never distracted by sideplots or unnecessary details. But as the film progresses, we learn all sorts of telling things about the characters that deepen each scene and make it much more exciting than we expect. As the judges search to the top of the tower, director Travis and writer Garland take us through a series of breathtaking set-pieces that are both astoundingly violent and massively involving. Effects are deployed only in meaningful sequences such as when someone ingests the illicit slo-mo drug that's at the centre of the plot, or when Anderson uses her empathic psychic abilities to dig around in someone's brain.

Remarkably, Urban delivers a fiercely layered performance even though we never see his eyes under his helmet. Thirbly and Headey don't get helmets, so we can see all kinds of subtext in their busy eyes. And there are key side characters played by Gleeson (as a frazzled techie), Harris (as an annoyed hostage) and Grier (as Ma-Ma's thuggish sidekick). What all of this proves is that big, action-packed action thrillers don't need to be stupid.

Rich Cline



Dredd

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st September 2012

Box Office USA: $13.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $41M

Budget: $50M

Distributed by: Lionsgate Films

Production compaines: DNA Films, Reliance BIG Entertainment, IM Global

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 114 Rotten: 33

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Pete Travis

Producer: , , Allon Reich

Starring: as Judge Dredd, as Anderson, as Ma-Ma, as Kay, as Zwirner, as Clan Techie, as Chief Judge, as Paramedic TJ, as Judge Lex, Warrick Grier as Caleb, Scott Sparrow as Japhet, Porteus Xandau as Driver, Joe Vaz as Big Joe, Nicole Bailey as Cathy, Karl Thaning as Judge Chan

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.