This is under U because of Karl Urban as Dredd.
Director: Pete Travis
Writer: (Screenplay) John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra (Characters)
Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Tamer Burjaq, Domhnall Gleeson
Plot: In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.
Tagline – Judgment is coming
Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Dredd starts as we meet Judge Dredd (Urban) the best police officer in the futuristic town, whose power gives him the ability to judge somebody’s crimes. Dredd is assigned a rookie Anderson (Thirlby) who has psychic abilities. Dredd is given the day to see if Anderson can keep up.
The first day will see the pair heading into a block run by drug lord Ma-Ma (Headey) who has just executed people who betrayed her. Dredd and Anderson must enter the most dangerous building in the city and bring an end to Ma-Ma reign of terror before her new SLO-MO drug leaves the building.
Thoughts on Dredd
Characters & Performances – Judge Dredd is the best law enforcement officer in the city, judge, jury and executioners. He is given a rookie to show the ropes, which will see him given out the rules for her to follow, letting her make the decisions, assessing her, while doing his duty. He will always keep his helmet on, being truer to the original content. Karl Urban is brilliant in this leading role, giving us the calm authoritarian character who is always in control no matter what the odds are. Anderson is the rookie with psychic abilities, she isn’t at the level required to be a judge yet. This is her training day, given one shot to prove herself under Dredd. She must use her abilities to help Dredd get through situations he wouldn’t normal be able to brute force he way through. Olivia Thirlby does a great job in this role that goes hand in hand with Urban’s character, she brings the more grounded version of the character to life. Ma-Ma is the drug lord who runs the tower block. If you cross her, she will make you suffer before killing you. Everybody in the building either fears her or respects her, but everyone follows her rules. Lena Headey gives us one of action films best modern-day villains, one that is cold, calculated and ruthless. We do get endless amounts of villains for Dredd to plough through on his way to getting justice.
Story – The story here follows the legendary Judge Dredd as he takes a rookie under his wing, with the pair finding themselves going into battle against the ruthless drug lord in her tower block filled with criminals who will do anything she says. The story does give us an idea which is easy to follow, two judges against a building full of enemies who will kill for their leader. Each floor with offer up a new problem and while this might well get overshadowed by The Raid, we do get to see just what measure this graphic novel character will go to get the job done.
Themes – Dredd brings us an onslaught of action, which just doesn’t stop, we get to see the different floors offering different challenges, bringing different weapons to the battle. We get hand to hand combat, which is as equally entertaining. The singular location shows us just how big the building is, increasing the enemies the Judges must go through. The special effects to show us how the SLO-MO works, is brilliant too, being used to add a new dimension to the fight scenes.
Final Thoughts – Dredd is an excellent action movie that should continue to have the following it deserves.