“Dredd” (2012)

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In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

Reviewed by Brian

Rating –  6 out of 10

As this movie started, the first thing that entered my mind was, “Oh no, not again.” It has a cheesy chase scene followed by bad one liners from the new Judge Dredd played by Karl Urban. It had an eerily similar feel to the first Robocop film minus the tongue in cheek humor. Then, a great story decision got me hooked and led this to be a solid if unspectacular action film. About a third of the way through the movie, Dredd and his rookie partner investigate a triple murder at a futuristic version of inner city projects. They take a gang member into custody to obtain information and on their way out, the gang leader overrides the security and locks everyone inside.

It then becomes 2 vs an entire gang and the results were predictable but fun. Several key action scenes do build tension to a climax that feels familiar but satisfying for this genre. It is light years better than that pile of shit Stallone starred in way back in the mid 90’s.

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Don’t get you hopes too high though. Several factors keep this from being anything more than fun and forgettable. First off, Judge Dredd is a robotic character. He has zero personality and might as well be a cyborg. His behavior is so lifeless that it reminded me of Robocop. Second, the female gang leader never really struck me as an interesting antagonist. Se snarls, she acts like she’s pissed, and she orders evil deeds. But, I never really bought the character or the performance.

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Don’t let these mild negative annoyances dissuade you from seeing it though. It’s a well made action film that will keep you entertained as long as you temper your expectations.

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2 responses to ““Dredd” (2012)

  1. I wouldn’t say that Karl Urban’s portrayal of Dredd was one-dimensional at all. I thought he got the character spot on, particularly difficult when you’re acting with pretty much just your chin. You are right regarding Lena Headey’s character Ma Ma though – she could have been fleshed out more as a character. She starts well, then tails off into usual bad guy stereotype after a while. Generally, an entertaining film though.

  2. I never dug into Karl Urban because he does a fine job. My issue was more with the character itself. Judge Dredd is a robotic and lifeless character.

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