Dredd (2012)

Over the busy Christmas period I finally got round to seeing this reboot of Judge Dredd. I can’t remember much of the Sylvester Stallone Judge Dredd film back in 1995 but I do remember it wasn’t very good. So can this remake be one of the few that’s superior to the original?

Set in future America where  crime is high and the only ones upholding the law are the Judges who go out and sentance people on site for their crimes. Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is given a new partner- rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a psychic, to see if she sinks or swims on her first day. Unfortunatly Anderson’s first day includes being sealed inside a tower block where gang leader Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) orders it’s residents to kill the judges.

It has to be said that this is a big improvement on the previous Judge Dredd film, and having Karl Urban in the main role is one of the film’s high points. Fans of the comic books will be pleased to know he keeps his helmet on the whole way through the film. Dredd is a difficult character to pull off due to his unflinching stance on the law and the fact that he seems to have very little sense of humour or warmth. Luckily Urban seems to have a good handle on the character and makes this steely character worth watching.

Dredd’s partnerhsip with Anderson is one of the more interesting aspects of the film. She is the rookie who is a bit of an outcast due to her psychic abilities and Dredd doesn’t think she’ll make it through the day. She is more compassionate and emotional than Dredd however she’s no pushover either and handles herself well as the situation dissolves into extream violence. Luckily she is never made as the typical damsel in distress, nor is she depicted as the love interest for Dredd.

So the film starts off well but eventually the fighting gets a bit monotonous. It doesn’t help that the plot is strangely similiar (on the surface anyway) to Indonesian actioner The Raid.  However while that film was able to come up with several inventive fight sequences  in its clasustraphobic setting the action in Dredd gets boring with its continuous gun fire. Another problem is that though the city of  Maga-City One sounds interesting we don’t get much of a chance to see it due to the fact we’re stuck inside the tower block for the majority of the film.

Still this is still an improvement on the 1995 movie and Karl Urban makes for a better Dredd than Stallone did. Fans of the comics and Karl Urban will enjoy this film but it still has a long way to go before being the classic action film it hopes to be.

Rating 3/5-B movie fun that doesn’t outstay its welcome

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Dredd (2012)

  1. theipc

    I was surprised at how much I liked this movie…. Nice work!!

  2. Extreme violence is an understatement! I was pretty shocked by the level of violence, didn’t expect it. I like that you noted there was no love interest between Dredd and rookie Anderson. One of my guesses at the beginning was they’d fall in love somehow, but they didn’t go that route and that was a good move. Nice review 🙂

    • Thanks. I thought it made a nice change that they didn’t go down the love interest route. Apparently in the original script they were meant to kiss but then the filmakers decided to cut that out which I’m glad.

  3. I’d love to see a sequel. You’re right about The Raid overshadowing it a bit but I still think its a great movie with a great cast. Great stuff Lauren

    • It was a shame that the two films were so similar. Hopefully they will do a sequel as the two leads were really good and I’d liked to see more of Mega-City One.

  4. You can tell that Urban truly does love and adore this character and it keeps the movie going, even at its strangest moments. However, I couldn’t help but think that maybe it was a tad too light on the action. Or maybe, for a better term, not “action-y enough”? Either way, great review Lauren.

  5. Heading into Dredd I didn’t know much about it and was surprised that almost the entire movie takes place in a giant complex; it was a little claustrophobic for me too at times. I think it’s a better movie than what the box office numbers would suggest. I’d be down for a sequel starring Urban again. Nice review Lauren!

  6. Good review Lauren, very accurate. I remember seeing this in the cinema back in the summer of 2012 (that feels like an eternity ago) and it was surprisingly good.

    I dunno if you saw the trailers for this film but it looked HORRIBLE! And it totally put me off watch it, but then I heard some good reviews for it so I gave it a watch. Thankfully the film was good thanks to Karl Urban, the relationship between Dredd and Anderson and some of the interesting action scenes and violence. However the problem with the film is that there is nothing significant or special about it that makes it stand out from other films in its genre.

    I would love to see a sequel at some point but due to the poor box office numbers I dunno if that’ll ever happen.

    • Thank you. I remember seeing the trailer and wasn’t very impressed and it looked too similar to The Raid but like you I heard some good things about it so I eventually got round to watching it. As for any sequel I think the film did better on dvd sells than box office so maybe it could happen if there was enough interest.

  7. In the original movie there was a kiss in the final scene that was totally out of place (well, like many other things in the 1995 version).

    I loved the 2012 much more than I expected. It’s even the only superhero movie I know that by all means outgunned the original (if we don’t count the endless Marvel/DC production). Maybe Guyver: Dark Hero can count too.

  8. Pingback: Dredd | indie sci-fi 451

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