Review of 'Dredd'

dredd.jpg In a post-apocolyptic world the population is crammed into “Mega-Cities” which are dominated by massive 100-story tower blocks. The population is policed by “Judges” who are judge, jury, and executioner – Heavily armoured and delivering swift justice. Judge Dredd (Karl Urban in a slightly (!) different role from the one he has in the new Star Trek) patrols “Mega City One” on the east coast of the United States. Dredd is forced to partner new recruit Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thrilby) who has psychic powers. They are soon called to the scene of a murder at “Peach Trees” in a 200-story tower block that they quickly realize is controlled by drug lord Madeline Madrigal, also known as “Ma-Ma” (Lena Headley) who lives on the top floor. Ma-Ma is flooding the streets with a new drug “Slo-Mo” which causes the user to experience time in extremely slow motion (setting the scene for some horrific slow-motion violence). Seeing the threat of the Judges Ma-Ma wastes no time in sealing the tower block from the outside world then sending her army of thugs after the Judges…Will they survive?

A very well realized, if understated, imagining of the world of Judge Dredd (from the “AD 2000” comic book) that very much stays true to the source material, unlike, many would argue, Sylvester Stallone's interpretation of the character from the 1995 film “Judge Dredd”. Dredd is an ice cold Judge but he is, generally speaking, fair and extremely efficient at what he does. There are tremendous action scenes throughout as an army is set against him with the incredibly visceral, bloody, violence you would expect - This film does not shy away from the blood and cringe-worthy highly physical violence.

The sets are amazing and utterly convincing in a depressing way despite the film having a relatively small budget. The world imagined is very believable with the “scorched earth” beyond the city walls a testament to man's folly.

Urban is excellent as Dredd with the right amount of cool and detachment for the role, never mind the low, gravelly voice (who knew?). Thrilby as his partner is also very good as the fish-out-water Judge still learning the ropes which is, of course, our window into this hyper-violent society. It is with Thrilby's character that also holds surprises for the audience as the violence ramps up.

Not for the faint of heart, Dredd is a great (generally) mindless violent, Science Fiction action romp.


Review Date: 2019-02-27

Directed by: Pete Travis

Studio: DNA Films

Year: 2012

Length: 95 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction