starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris and Langley Kirkwood
screenplay by Alex Garland
directed by Peter Travis
I rented Dredd because I was bored and hadn’t rented a DVD in a long time. I wanted to watch something, almost anything. I was sick of watching re-runs of the TV police drama The Closer (starring Kyra Sedgwick), so I really wanted to see a movie. There was nothing else new in my shop - at least, nothing else new that I wanted to see. But I saw Dredd, and I knew that it had been re-made. I thought to myself “Maybe they re-made it better than the last time.” But they didn’t.
Just like Sylvester Stallone’s Judge Dredd (1995, directed by Danny Cannon) before it, Dredd is a total piece of crap. I suppose the idea is good. It takes place in a future, post nuclear apocalyptic world where the human population occupies chaotic megacities. Outside the megacities is a nuclear wasteland. Inside the megacities the police force act as law enforcers, judges and executioners all in one. That makes it a kind of action morality film with political overtones, hence potentially very interesting and provocative. But instead what we are given is little more than a comic book story, and I hate comic book movies. The Dredd is totally a comic book character, created by British illustrator John Wagner and his Spanish partner Carlos Ezquerra. Both Wagner and Dredd work primarily for British comics, but the Dredd character was crated for American comics. (Interestingly, Ezquerra lives in Andorra. I’ve never known anyone who lived there. It amost ranks with the Azores on the romantic scale.)
In this re-make Judge Dredd and a female psychic apprentice enter a megacity block controlled by a violent drug gang. Practically the entire movie is an explosive shoot-out with the drug gang. Lot’s of bang, but not much story.