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Movie Review
Dredd 3D
Rating :
Hero :
Karl Urban
Heroine :
Olivia Thirlby
Other Cast :
Wood Harris, Lena Headey
Director :
Pete Travis
Music Director :
Paul Leonard- Morgan
Producer :
Alex Garland, Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich
Release Date :
Surpassing the low bar of being better than 1995's soullessly glossy "Judge Dredd," starring Sylvester Stallone, this second adaptation of the long-running British comic-book feature is, instead, soullessly gritty. Set in a science-fiction dystopia of a grossly overcrowded future with anachronistically 2012-looking cars and minivans, "Dredd" proves a surprisingly unimaginative cop vs. drug lord story, complete with the weathered veteran forced to take a rookie under his wing.

The opening credits end and the movie begin, with a huge, wide, computer-generated image of a blasted landscape, studded only with enormous gray apartment towers. "America is an irradiated wasteland ..." a narrator raspily begins. And here we go again. "Mad Max" was a fine movie in its time, but its time was more than 30 years ago, and since then we've had so many post-apocalyptic action films they've all begun to blur into a single dystopia. Decaying slums, all-powerful policemen, the stray mutant or two — yeah, whatever. The question audience would most probably ask is do we really need another instalment in this?

However, the good news for Dredd fans is that Pete Travis’s savage interpretation of John Wagner’s futuristic law enforcer adheres to the character’s grim graphic-novel roots and proves far superior to the corny misfire attempted by Sylvester Stallone back in 1995. This, finally, is the Dredd movie comic book readers have been anticipating. On a undermining note, if you also caught Gareth Evans’s like-minded Indonesian thriller “The Raid: Redemption” earlier this year, then “Dredd 3D” will strike you as derivative. Solemn Karl Urban (Bones in J.J. Abrams’s “Star Trek” reboot) dons the trademark helmet and motorcycle boots of Dredd, a ruthless judge presiding over the decaying, post-apocalyptic metropolis of Mega-City One.

Two events complicate Dredd’s unremitting mission to clean up his streets. First, he’s saddled with a rookie partner (Olivia Thirlby) who’s bound to slow him down. Second, the duo is assigned to investigate an incident at Peach Trees, a towering apartment complex run by crazed drug dealer Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). We are asked to believe Dredd and Co. are all that stands between us and chaos, but the chief crime of the evildoers seems principally to be that they like to smoke a drug called “slo-mo” that makes time pass at 1 percent of its actual speed (or four times as fast as this thudding, repetitive movie).

The super-slow motion deployed by director Pete Travis to illustrate the effects of the drug is the sole interesting feature of the movie. Taking a bath, Ma-Ma luxuriates in every drop, and when punishing her enemies, she first gives them a hit of the drug (with an asthma inhaler), then tosses them out of the building for extra terror value. To us, though, falling slowly looks beautifully vivid and serene. The rest is relatively straightforward.

Dredd is not for those with weak hearts (or weak stomachs for that matter). If you were ever a fan of the comics you might find Dredd enjoyable but you have been warned, it's a 'bloody' loud watch.
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