When we go to see remakes of movies we loved growing up, a lot of the times we end up disappointed. I’m not sure if we are looking for the newer movie to live up to the nostalgia that we feel or if the movie just stinks all together. Either way, most remakes are terrible. However, the reboot of the comic book movie “Judge Dredd” (that starred Sylvester Stallone in the 90’s) “Dredd” is the mark on which remakes should be based on.
“Dredd” (starring Karl Urban as Judge Dredd) is notoriously known as one of the most ruthless and no nonsense Judges (a Judge is a police officer with instant field judiciary powers) on the force. There is no negotiating with Dredd, there is right and there is wrong. If you are not obeying the law, then you are going to be prosecuted by the law. And Dredd IS the law. Olivia Thirlby plays Cassandra Anderson. A judge in training with psychic abilities who gets the…privilege of being trained by Dredd. In typical movie fashion, Anderson’s training had to be a case that leads to her and Dredd not only going up against the premier drug lord and crime kingpin by the name of Ma-Ma (played by Lena Headey), it also ends up showing corruption among the Judges.
Dredd is everything that any fan of hardcore action could ask for in a movie. A ton of action, creative violence, an easy to follow story, a bad ass lead role, and supporting character that can carry their own weight. A lot of times you have a secondary character that is just there to be comic relief or a woman who’s there to be saved throughout the movie. Anderson is neither. She not only holds her own, but she has some very memorable moments throughout the movie. Urban as Dredd is absolutely amazing. Imagine The Punisher in the future with the authority to kill legally and was issued fancy and super destructive weapons. Now take him and put him in a giant closed in thirty story building the size of a block in Queens, New York and fill it with people that need to be killed. Yes, it’s that good.
And let’s not forget our villain Ma-Ma. She is cruel and merciless and phenomenal. Everyone talks about strong women characters in movies not existing, when sometimes they are right there in our faces. Even if Ma-Ma was a horrible human being, it doesn’t take away from the fact that she demanded respect and discipline from her workers. If you crossed her, you would surely end up tortured, dead, or tortured and then killed.
Action: 8 – Really gruesome and over the top at times but it fits the theme of the movie.
Story: 7 – The story is pretty basic, but the dialogue is great.
Visual: 8 - A job well done showing how the futuristic drugs people took affected the mind of the user. Also, the people who put the living complex together did a hell of a job.
High marks due to the fact that every major character did their job and portrayed their characters perfectly. Two points off because the supporting cast wasn’t that great.
Overall Rating: 7.75
I have no idea why more people don’t praise this movie as one of the better action flicks. Maybe it was TOO gruesome. Maybe the story was too predictable. Either way, I highly recommend it for an action filled movie weekend.