Film review: ‘Dredd 3D’

“Judge Dredd” (1995) was a movie filled with the clichés of Hollywood. There was a love story, and you were almost forced to root for the lead character portrayed by the unconvincing Sylvester Stallone.


"Dredd 3D" is based on the 2000 AD comic strip, "Judge Dredd." Photo: Lionsgate

Anybody familiar with the now legendary British character, Dredd, was thoroughly disenfranchised by the film, in which Stallone’s character often took his helmet off (something the original rarely did).

“Dredd 3D” is a reinvention of the classic 2000 AD comic strip featuring the judge, jury and executioner, making it a lot closer to its roots, rather than the remakes.

First and foremost, and to please most Dredd diehards, Judge Dredd does not remove his helmet. In addition, Karl Urban, who plays Dredd, cracks nothing even reminiscent of a smile. In fact, he looks thoroughly miserable throughout.

The nitty-gritty of this film comes down to some fantastic action set-pieces, an insurmountable body count – bordering on the “300” levels, and an incredible amount of gore.

The plot sees Judge Dredd struggling against the Ma-Ma gang in the 200-story slum tower block, “Peach Trees.” The villain is the detestably violent Ma-Ma, who commands a gang of thugs and villains, which she sends at Dredd, to protect the manufacturing of her new drug, “Slow-Mo.”

Slow-Mo is used as a brilliant lead in to the use of a great camera effect, which sees some stunningly rendered slow-motion pieces throughout the film.

While Dredd 3D isn’t a massively deep film with an intense range of emotions, it does give viewers exactly what they expect: Action in a realm completely departed from the real world and scenes of intense violence. Yet, by the end of the film, you’re rooting for the two protagonists without really finding out anything about them.

If you were looking for character development and a romantic story, Dredd 3D isn’t the film for you. However, if you are looking for anything other than full-on action, blood and guts, then this is a film you must-see.

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