Karl Urban recreates the role of Judge Dredd

Karl Urban recreates the role of Judge Dredd

Reel Reviews: This judge isn’t ‘Dredd-ful’

The newest film based on the Judge Dredd comics is guilty of being cool.

  • Sep. 30, 2012 8:00 a.m.

America is a radioactive wasteland. Millions of survivors huddle together behind the walls of  Megacity One, a gigantic slum that stretches from what used to be Boston to Washington, D.C.

Unemployment is high, crime is higher, the only law and order comes in the form of judges. Judge, jury and instant executioner, these judges attempt to keep the peace in their violent and dangerous, drug filled districts. No one is more feared or respected than Judge Dredd (Karl Urban).

Dredd is assigned to assess a rookie judge who has powerful psychic abilities. On a routine call (for murder!) they discover they have stumbled into the drug manufacturing facility and headquarters of the most powerful gang in Megacity One, the MaMa clan.

Can the judges bring justice? Can they even escape alive? Is the film better than the 1995 version with Stallone?

We say, “This movie is guilty of being cool.”

HOWE: I know I’m meant to go into movies with an open mind, but after the shockingly bad 1995 Stallone version, I was fearing the worst. I now know you can’t judge a comic book by its cover. I really enjoyed Dredd.

TAYLOR: I liked it too. It starts with a bang and although it slowed a bit, as films often do in the middle, it held my interest well enough throughout. Stylistically, I thought it was the most interesting looking film this year. Great production design, cinematography and CGI.

HOWE: The storyline was good and the acting was fine, but what Dredd excelled at was its overall beauty. The slow motion shots are fantastic and the 3D was the best I’ve seen to date. There were some flaws, as in most movies, but I didn’t really care as it held my interest from start to finish. And for the first time, I didn’t mind paying the extra money for the 3D. It was well worth it.

TAYLOR: There was a harsh reality to the world these characters inhabit and their dirtiness shone through as well. The story revolving around a trippy futuristic drug called “Slo-Mo” allowed for interesting moments that were visually stunning. On top of this eye candy there was also some extreme language and violence. Dredd contains some of the most beautiful violence I have ever seen.

HOWE: Yeah, I agree with you. The only movie that springs to mind that gives a similar feeling was 300, yet, with Dredd, I feel I would be able to watch it more than once and still enjoy it. I’m glad they didn’t give it a PG rating. If they had lessened the violence and language it would of have spoiled the end product.

TAYLOR: Hyper-reality, ultra-violence, hi-tech weaponry, effective 3D and comic book quips, who could ask for anything more?

–– Taylor gives Dredd 3.5 voice activated pistols out of 5.

–– Howe gives it 3.5 psychic rookie judges out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are movie reviewers living in Vernon, B.C.