The very first thing I want to say is that I have never seen the Sylvester Stallone “Judge Dredd” movie released back in 1995 and I have not read any of the comic books. This put me in an interesting position as I could only judge (pun intended) this movie based on it’s own merit. I could not compare it to the previous film attempt or the source material that inspired it.
I truly believe that it gives me the advantage in sitting down and enjoying this movie. How will I find this movie? I will be it’s judge, jury and executioner. Let’s do this!
As with my reviews, I will do a list of Pros and Cons, and then end the review with my own thoughts. I do assign a numerical score and try to be as fair as I can in that assessment.
– I absolutely loved the performances of Karl Urban as Judge Dredd and Olivia Thirlby as the rookie Judge Anderson respectively. Urban absolutely owned the role and was perfect in his delivery. The development of Thirlby’s character, the rookie of the two main characters, evolved throughtout the movie. It was handled extremely well and felt natural. She basically just grew up during the course of the story.
– How cool were the slow motion effects throughout the film. The one that truly stood out to me was when Ma-Ma, played by Lena Headey, was in the bathtub and moved her arm in the air. That scene was just beautiful.
– I really liked the look and vibe of Mega City One. It really felt like it was a futuristic city but also a realistic interpretation of what the city could be. There were no sci-fi elements that that betrayed the realistic and gritty setting that they had established in the first sequence of the film.
– The chemistry between Dredd and Anderson was fantastic. Their relationship was very sterile and clinical at the beginning of the movie but it really became more of a big brother/little sister relationship as the movie progressed. The way that she took charge as they made their to face off against Ma-Ma was fantastic.
– The one liners that Dredd used throughout the movie could have come across cheesy but were actually really well done. Sometimes when I hear those types of lines in the context in which they were used, I will audibly groan and shake my head. That didn’t happen here.
– The scene where Dredd sentences Ma-Ma was surprising to me as I never thought he would give her a hit of the slo-mo and tossd her out the window like she did to her victims. He was by the book the entire movie and this was the first time he allowed himself to step into the “gray” area of the law. It showed growth in his character.
– Although the movie had it’s share of violence and blood shed, it did not detract from the story that was being told. If anything, it just truly showed how grim and gritty the story being told was.
– I really did not “feel” the Ma-Ma character at all. It is not that Lena Headey had done a terrible job or that the character was too contrived or anything. For some reason she just did not connect with me as much as I thought she would.
– I know the ending was set up to leave you guessing but I wanted one more interaction between Dredd and Anderson. Knowing that he passed her on her assessment made me want to see them work together again but we are led to believe she has walked away from being a Judge.
– It is a damn shame that this movie did so poorly at the box office and may not have a sequel. The sales of the DVD, Blu Ray and Digital copies have been really strong and it may help push the studio to lean in that direction. I truly hope they do!
SCORE: 8 / 10
MY CLOSING THOUGHTS
What can I say? I really thought that Dredd kicked ass! I am very glad that I bought it on Blu Ray the day it was released. For some reason it took me awhile to watch the film, but it will make a great addition to my super hero/comic book blu ray movie collection.
The film deserves a sequel and I truly hope I will see one come to pass. Urban made this role believable and played it with such a gritty realism. I can not wait to see the future adventures of Judge Dredd and Judge Anderson, I just hope I do!
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