Movie Review – Dredd 3D
September 30, 2012 1 Comment
Oh how I want to excise the part of my brain that recalls the Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider, buddy cop comedy, action movie Judge Dredd. One of the most horrible pieces of shit I sat through and make fun whenever I can. How one could take a comic book which is all about glorious violence, done in the most insane way possible, could be distilled into the safest R-rated movie ever. I will never know, but thankfully the movie going audience got the remake it so rightly deserved.
Dredd 3D is has a story that is about as deep as a kiddie pool and I love it for that. Stripped down of all the politics, shitty comedic moments and some story about cloning, this leaner and meaner version of Dredd just brings a fully loaded clip of grit and gore to the pinnacle of machismo. I guess if I had to describe the story, I would just say it’s The Raid: Redemption’s plot, but with 3D, a lot of gore and some horrifically gorgeous slow motion shootouts and free fall dives. Dredd (Karl Urban) is paired with a young judge with a special ability named Cassandra (Olivia Thribly). They respond to a triple murder at the Peach Tree Apartments in a part of the megacities and apprehend a drug pusher who knows more about the murders. Well this doesn’t sit well with Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) who is afraid the pusher will rat out the drug operation in the apartments, thus locking down the tower and trapping the judges in there. So yeah, Dredd and Cassandra have to shoot their way out.
This version of Dredd takes the old 1995 version out to the woodshed and puts two in skull. Never have I seen a movie start off dark, gritty, violent, twistedly satisfying, and maintain that entire momentum through the entire movie. Even when there are moments of useless exposition to set up a scene or character, the movie manages to constantly keep a snarl plastered across the mug of Dredd or making a gallows humor joke to keep the air of volatility at a heightened level. Dredd never lets up on the full auto barrage of violence, darkly humorous quips, slow motion explosions and the sort of gore you only find in horror movies.
Karl Urban is by far and away a bad-ass. His version of Dredd is what Stallone could have wished he did, playing it like a straight bad-ass, he never once takes off his helmet and his delivery of lines if deadpan but powerful. Always with a gnarled look on his face, he is unmoving and emotionless, like a war vet who saw just about every atrocity he could possibly see and just shrugs it off. That is the Dredd of the comic books, one who dispenses justice with extreme prejudice. Pairing off nicely with Dredd is Olivia Thrilby as Cassandra, where she plays a green cadet in the Judge enforcement group. Her character adds some humanity to the senseless, enjoyable violence that Dredd hands out with a smirk. Cassandra is also a cadet with a special ability that comes in pretty damn handy in this case, but also more of a gimmicky cop out in some scenarios. But who fucking cares, Cassandra deals death just as well as Dredd.
Rounding out the acting group is Lena Headey who brings a terrifying presence to the sadistic drug kingpin Ma-Ma. Yeah, who would have thought that Cersei Lannister would be a hard ass in this movie. Regardless, she does manage to be vicious in her role that has her ordering countless thugs to their death.
Dredd 3D is basically the equivalent of drunken fast food eating. You crave this sort of movie because it appeals to you at the most base level of excitement. It isn’t some sort of high class meal you sit and enjoy, you wolf down this movie and want more and more because it satisfies your enjoyment. Dredd is just that. It delivers that over the top violence we are somewhat repulsed by seeing, but also love seeing in movies. Guys explode like that head in Scanners, the blood splatter shames most horror movies, the body count and level of destruction is obscene.
I am running out of words to really describe this movie so I will make like Dredd and not say anymore.
Rating: 4.5 armor piercing rounds out of 5
*images via RottenTomatoes