Reviewed by: Ethan Samuel Rodgers
illegal drug use / dangerous drug epidemic
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
How good is good enough? Answer
Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer
Karl Urban … Judge Dredd
Rachel Wood … Control Operator 1
Andile Mngadi … Passenger
Porteus Xandau Steenkamp … Driver
Jason Cope … Zwirner
Emma Breschi … Hostage
Olivia Thirlby … Anderson
Rakie Ayola … Chief Judge
Lena Headey … Ma-Ma
Domhnall Gleeson … Clan Techie
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|Director||Pete Travis—“Vantage Point”|
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“Judgment is coming.”
Remaking a film like “Judge Dredd” sounded pretty ridiculous when the rumors began. There’s a long list of movies Stallone did in the 80s and 90s that definitely didn’t create any Oscar® buzz, but “Judge Dredd” with it’s ridiculous one liners, hokie story line and overly serious comic book theme definitely took the cake (perhaps only challenged by the arm wrestling epic “Over the Top”). My friends, “Dredd 3D” is not the silly comic book flick you saw in 1995. It’s loud, violent, and gory. Bottom line: Dredd is a bloody mess.
The story revolves around an officer of the law (Dredd) on another day on patrol with a new partner in “Mega City 1,” a futuristic city that spans the eastern sea board and is inhabited by millions of people. Things go south when the two proceed to investigate a triple homicide in a rougher part of town. What ensues is nothing short of a massacre.
The film is highlighted by almost a noire-esque style that accentuates the slow motion and 3D effects with great precision. The visuals that result are astounding and breathtaking, at times, but will make you cringe. When bullets fly and hit skin, there’s no cut away. Droplets of blood are literally suspended in mid air thanks to 3D technology, and the result will make you wince. To try and describe the violence would be overkill. Men are shot, skinned, blown up, thrown from roofs… It’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
The sexual themes of Dredd are prevalent, as well. Multiple sexual scenes, mostly involving a criminal and a fantasy he is having about Dredd’s female partner, are graphic and intense and appear sporadically throughout. While sex isn’t a focus in the film (how could it be with so much shooting?), it’s a notable addition to the adult themes in the film. There are many moments where characters use coarse words to describe situations: f____ (41), s___ (11), a__ (2), G__ and GD.
To describe Karl Urban’s acting job as a success would be an interesting statement, considering you never actually see his face. He is certainly a good choice for the role, and hearing him gruffly rasp out “I am the law” is by far the high point in the film, but it’s clearly an easy character to portray that I would say is, quite possibly, even less than one dimensional (half dimensional?). The supporting cast is mostly filled with clichés and cookie-cutter characters, but Lena Headey (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” TV series) is an outstanding antagonist.
While the action sequences are truly exciting, and the film, as a whole, is heart pounding to watch, the violence is so extreme it’s very difficult to recommend. Coupled with the drug use, the sexual overtones, and the language, “Dredd 3d” earns its “R” rating within 15 minutes of its short run time. And, with no other uplifting or positive moral themes, there’s little reason to see it, as Dredd is nothing but a bloody, brutal shooter with a thin plot that relies solely on gun powder and violence to propel it forward. So if you’re not looking for a film that leaves death, debauchery and destruction in its wake, Dredd simply is a remake you’ll want to pass on.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.