Dredd is probably the best “superhero and/or comic book related film” that I have seen in a long time. I grew up on Judge Dredd, mainly reading it in the 1980′s along with 2000 A.D., and in 1987 when the band Anthrax came out with the single “I Am The Law!” from the album “Among The Living” I was more than happy to listen to a song about one of my favorite heroes. The day I went to see Dredd I pulled out my old Anthrax “I Am The Law!” t-shirt from the concert, but I’m older now and sort of a fat ass and when I put it on I look like I’m wearing a tube top. I have one other Judge Dredd t-shirt I thought I could wear to the movie, but it worked out just the same, but that’s another story.
I didn’t think that Dredd would be as good as it is, but I’m pretty amazed at how really great this movie is. It’s like watching an artsy, gritty, bloody, sci-fi, action, hero flick. From beginning to end this film was outstanding. I wasn’t sure if I was on the way in to see a remake of the 1995 Judge Dredd, Sylvester Stallone massacre of a movie, or if this was an actual stand alone film or a sequel. Karl Urban is the man for Judge Dredd, I gotta say he is perfect, even though the Dredd costume wasn’t exact, I was hoping I’d finally see a lanky Judge Dredd in blue with green boots, gloves, elbow and knee pads along with a giant gold eagle on his shoulder; instead we got sort of a brownish outfit with an eagle emblem on the shoulder and a good looking helmet and Lawgiver to go along with it.
Unfortunately the Stallone versions costume was a little closer to the comic book Judge Dredd look, and I thought the bad guys in the Stallone version were cooler. I mean we got the ABC Robot, the Mean Machine, and the Angel Family, but Lena Headey’s portrayal of Madeline Madrigal I thought was mean as hell and I’m happy that we finally got Judge Anderson instead of another Judge Hershey like in the Stallone film. Olivia Thirlby made a great Judge Anderson. Also I felt that the Karl Urban Dredd look has kind of a Blade look to it with all those pads in the front.
To me Dredd was a combination of Mad Max, Escape From New York, and The Raid. It didn’t seem to me like Mega-City One was set in the year 2070, it made me think more of 1979 Mad Max with psuedo-sci-fi like vehicles that are tattered and boarded up, cool motorcycles with built-in weapons and armor, and awesome guns such as the Lawgiver; but the city itself was pretty great and in some ways did say to me “you’re in Mega-City One”. Maybe not many mutants besides Judge Anderson, but the city, the people and the effects looked good to me, and how they represented Slo-mo was nice too.
It was like they took a character from 1977, made a movie about him in 2012 and took ideas from some of the best films of the 1970s and 1980s, and it all worked out. Even though the Stallone version was definitely set in the future with fancy flying cars, motorcycles, and mutants, to me it still doesn’t compare to what this movie is.
I doubt that Dredd will hit the marks of what films like The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and The Avengers do, but that’s mostly because the character isn’t as known as the more mainstream ones that have bigger names and are prominently set in American comic books, but Dredd is the most famous comic book character in the UK for the past three decades.
Anyway, if you’re debating on whether to see Dredd or not, it should be a definite yes. I didn’t see it in 3D because I really hate 3D, I don’t think every damn movie that comes out needs to be in 3D, but I’m gonna have to say that after seeing Dredd, that it would make for a great 3D movie. Drokk it!