Synopsis

The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One - a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called "Judges" who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge - a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of "Slo-Mo" experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed. During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson, a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture - a 200 storey vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan's inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound's ...

Director

Pete Travis

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ben-798-604758 8 /10

Straight to The Point, Well Directed, Really Violent

This definitely isn't one of those movies with a lot of character development, but its not your typical action flick either. This is a beautiful work of art with a lot of stylized violence, desolate alleys with shady characters and ill intentions. The grungy neon lights of a dystopian future, the scarlet blood and glimmering glass, the hauntingly beautiful slow motion, what makes this movie great is definitely the visual aspects.

Dredd himself is very one dimensional, forcedly so. Stern, analytical, gruff, his toughness masking a side of him the audience never actually gets to see. His character is described perfectly in the first few minutes by his new psychic apprentice, which is the last look you get inside of his head before its slammed shut. He is a man who takes his duty seriously to the point that it consumes him, defines him.

Ma-ma is sadistically brilliant. Her mob-style domination of peach tree creates a claustrophobic apprehension for a threat far too big to take on in a box far too small to escape. The terror by which she controls the people is believable and vicious. Whats lost in character development is regained by the subtle twisted moments and reactions to the threats imposed on each of the characters.

The psychic scenes were perhaps the most well done and paints a very nice psychological battle between the judge in training and her prisoner. I would've actually enjoyed more of these as they were very surreal and artistic. Its also cool to see the way she breaks him down even after he thinks he has the upper hand.

Slow mo, the drug this movie centers around, makes for some very awesome fight scenes on par with Sherlock Holmes 2: a Game of Shadows and the Matrix. The visual effects were very well executed and i myself being a visual effects artist, have only one complaint. At some points the blood was a bit oversaturated and toonish, which was likely in attempt to match the comic but draws away from a few scenes.

Reviewed by Lugodoc 10 /10

Perfect Dredd

I'm a huge fan of the comic 2000AD and the character Judge Dredd since 1979, and this film completely satisfied me. They changed all the right things and kept all the right things. Director Pete Travis tackled the problem of filming a comic book by making something that looks nothing like a comic book and more like an action movie shot on location, with a simple linear plot that keeps rolling and never slows down.

Megacity 1 is made markedly less futuristic than the comic in order to become so believable that it is hard to tell where the real slums of Cape Town end and the CGI kilometre high city blocks start. I have an uncomfortable feeling that in less than a hundred years cities like this may actually exist.

The comic Judge's uniform works on paper but can't in real life - giant golden eagles, shoulder pads and bronze name badges hanging off a leather one-piece body suit would sag, wobble and look daft. The movie gives us body armour that looks like it actually gets used whilst keeping the helmet exactly the same. The effect is striking and believable, like everything else in this film.

The plot revolves around a drug which makes time seem to slow down a hundred times, the perfect excuse for scenes of ultra slo-mo explosive bloody (and beautiful) anatomically correct violence that earn this film its 18 rating. Not a kid's movie at all. Every supporting actor looks like they came out of a gang documentary, scarred, nasty, sweaty and mean. Lena Headey totally kicks ass as the ruthless gang lord Ma Ma, calmly relishing the deaths of her enemies, eyes sledging from narcotic addiction.

In a way this is Olivia Thirlby's movie, since she gets the character arc, rookie judge Cassandra Anderson assigned to Dredd for evaluation and finding herself on a very steep learning curve. She is vulnerable, spikey and tough as called for, vital to the movie in order to balance Dredd.

How do you play Dredd? He is the opposite of a character. He has no personal arc, never changes or grows. He has no sense of humour, the comic finds that by placing utterly deadpan 'ol stony- face in ironic situations that reflect off him. And where do you find an actor prepared to wear a helmet obscuring everything but his mouth and chin for the whole 95 minutes? Karl Urban must be a huge fan himself to play the part so right. One reviewer described his performance as "ego-free" and it is. I didn't see Urban anywhere in this movie, all I saw was Dredd.

Me and Dredd-heads everywhere thank you Karl. You smashed it.

Reviewed by MR_Heraclius 8 /10

I really liked this movie.

Graphic, gripping, and very well developed. This is exactly what we should see from a comic of this subject matter. The performances are outstanding; everyone plays their role to absolute perfection. Completely loaded with entertaining action and blood to keep you interested. The directing, editing, sound design, and effects, terrific. A criminally underrated movie that I'm glad got the cult following and recognition it deserves.

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