Yes, Karl Urban takes on Judge Dredd in this slick reboot which sees the moody Mega City judge with the super-cool voice-activated gun make his way up a tower block with a blonde psychic rookie taking out any unlawful culprits along the way. Like a video game, it all gets harder and harder as the levels get higher and you can expect one-liners aplenty and a lot of gory action.
That Dredd is an 18 and not a 12A is the best thing that could have happened to this movie. Proving once again that a dark, violent comic-book movie should, indeed, be dark and violent regardless of whether the kiddos will flock to it or not. Sometimes you just have to let movies be themselves. Here, the blood and gore adds a tough edge to Dredd (a tough, edgy guy) and makes it not only a worthy action flick but a satisfying adaptation.
Which, after months of watching that unimpressive trailer on and off, is not so much a surprise as it is a miracle!
Turns out Dredd isn't the cringe-worthy, dull B-movie I was expecting with Dredd walking around dark corridors the entire time being a lame sub-Stallone. I mean, ok there is a lot of walking around dark corridors but, weirdly, it works here with the art direction and cinematography being colorful and stylish enough to keep the block from feeling too claustrophobic. The 3D does help with that also. The tone of the film is moody but it knows how to pull off a fun action sequence and has a sense of humour throughout. It gets why the character of Dredd is cool and why we like him but doesn't overdo it the way the original Judge Dredd film did.
Speaking of which...
How does this Dredd compare to that goofy Sly 90's actioner?
Well, being one of the only nerds out there who actually enjoys that one, even I must admit that this remake/reboot/sequel/whatever is a better movie and a better adaptation altogether. That said, the original is still good fun, as silly and Rob Schneider-heavy as it is. Dredd looks the part, opting for a gritty neon-lit look and the cast does really well with Karl Urban proving to be a more human Dredd, Olivia Thirlby making a good, if not essential, sidekick and Lena Headey's villain Ma-Ma (I'm not making this up) a worthy threat throughout.
Overall, it's a good Dredd flick and, I can't believe I'm saying this, I look forward to whatever sequels they might have planned. As long as they keep things this strong, there should be loads more Mega-fun in the future.
(my Vlog is below)