|Not a lot of deep thought happening here.|
Hey folks! Welcome to another blood soaked installment of the Tagline! Today I'm going to talk about the 3D bloodbath sensation Dredd, a 2012 adaptation of the prolific British Judge Dredd comics, first printed in the late 70s, and continuing through the present. Dredd stars Karl Urban as the eponymous Judge Dredd, (the last movie I saw him in was the new Star Trek, he was McCoy, wait scratch that I forgot about Red). He accompanies a prospective Judge named Anderson (played by Olivia Thirlby, the last movie I saw her in was Juno believe it or not. Pretty serious genre shift) who is undergoing a kind of trial by fire to decide if she's fit to be a judge. Apparently her test scores are pretty underwhelming, but she is a powerful psychic, and so the Hall of Justice decides that she's worth the trouble. During what is a routine investigation of a triple homicide, Dredd and Anderson run afoul of Ma Ma (Lena Headey, you know, Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones!) who controls the entire mega-block the murders take place in. She's in the process of distributing a new drug that will give her serious leverage and grow her little crime empire, but first she has to make sure one of her captured goons never gets to be interrogated by the judges. To achieve this end, she locks down the block and sends her thugs to wage war on the two trapped judges. Dredd takes it pretty personally, and what ensues could be delicately termed an orgy of gun violence.
|Dredd is not a complicated man.|
Is that a bad thing necessarily? Well maybe not. There is something kind of refreshing about the directness of this movie's plot and characters. Dredd himself proclaims that he 'is the law' and there seems to be a real meaning behind that. That helmet of his never comes off, and we never see an aspect of him that doesn't involve carrying out his duties as a judge. The closest thing to compassion you'll witness is him stunning rather than killing two adolescent criminals (who look like they're about 12 maybe). This is in line with the comics portrayal of the man: his job is the whole point to him, he is just an extension of the Hall of Justice in a lot of ways. Anderson's character has a little more texture to it, but ultimately this movie is about exactly what it seems like on the surface: two judges trapped in a building full of criminals, their only exit being to waste everyone who points a gun at them.
|Those guys are going to regret their life choices soon.|
Speaking of pointing guns, this movie does not pull punches in the gore department. To the contrary, its punches are heavy and splatter people's brains all over the place. The violence on display is not over the top in a campy way, it is just grisly, in depth, and plentiful. You might be shocked by the degree of it, but no one in the movie seems to give a piss, least of all Dredd, who moves with implacable determination as he dispenses hot lead justice. people have their faces shot off, are dropped onto the pavement from great heights, are set on fire, the list goes on. My point being, if you protest or are not a fan of graphic depictions of savage gun murder, this movie is not going to be doing anything you're interested in.
|No kiss kiss just bang bang.|
Beyond that, there isn't a ton to say about the movie. It's violent, it's gritty, and it's dystopic. I find it somewhat disturbing that to make a movie look like the post apocalyptic dystopic future, they don't have to do much. Honestly it looks like any city around here, just a little worse. I'm not sure what that says about the present. As far as it compares to the previous adaptation (the one with Stallone) well, this is a lot more like the comics, and a lot less like a very 90s action movie (I'm not saying it was bad, it just wasn't very Dredd. This one is).
Dredd did not good. I would go so far as to say it did bad. Against it's 45 million budget it managed a piddly 32 million including international gross. That's too bad because the movie was reviewed pretty favorably by critics, thanks to its deadpan execution, excellent effects and spectacular show of violence.
That's about it for now! Join me again, when maybe I'll talk about the Lorax. Or not, we'll see.