Along with many 2000AD lovers, I’d been waiting for the release of the latest Dredd movie for a long time. Now it’s here, how does it measure up?
The opening scene is promising, although I was mildly confused by the early 90s vehicles on the road. Megacity one seemed a bit too spacious and underpopulated for my liking and the contrast of Judge-tech to prole-tech seemed a bit odd, but these are minor issues for this kind of movie (read no brain necessary).
Karl Urban looks as though he doesn’t quite fit inside his helmet, though I guess that was true in some of the comics too.
Wasting no time, we are introduced to the antagonists – Ma-Ma, in the form of Lena Headly of 300 fame, and the latest drug craze Slo-Mo (it does what it says on the tin, shockingly enough). The rest of the movie is basically spent fighting Ma-Ma and her gang, with Judge Anderson (played by Olivia Thirlby) by Dredd’s side. It should be said that this is one of those movies that shines way brighter in 3D. The 3D really works its wonders in the Slo-Mo scene.
This version is far more faithful to the comics than its predecessor – that Dredd never takes off his helmet will keep many a geek’s head from exploding. The pacing is good, the sets well crafted and the plot could have come straight from 2000AD themselves. On the downside, it felt rather humourless and failed to effectively incorporate the dystopian irony that the comics are famous for, which is probably it’s main failing as that was why Dredd was so popular in the first place.
All in all though, much fun was had and a definite improvement on the prior effort. It’s an action packed ride which doesn’t claim to have any brains, although it doesn’t reach the ‘Classic’ status of other comic book adaptations. If you like Dredd and/or sci-fi in general, take a gander. If not, you can probably give it a miss…
FINAL SCORE: 3.5/5
Dredd 3D is out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.