Dredd – 4 out of 5
As much as people complain about remakes and reboots you have to admit that sometimes they are necessary. For example: Judge Dredd. If you are only familiar with Dredd from the terrible Slyvester Stallone from 1995 then I feel bad for you, son, because I got 99 problems and remembering Judge Dredd ain’t one—actually, sadly, I remember Judge Dredd…I remember all too well.
|Dredd...make me forget Judge Dredd.|
The comic book that featured Judge Dredd has been in circulation since 1977 and is quite a big deal in the UK where it’s published. While I’ve never been a rabid fan, I’ve read my fair share of issues and found the dystopian society where lawlessness is being controlled by a special police force that acts as judge, jury and executioner and the focus on the most loyal of those to the law (I’ll give you a hint…it’s Dredd) to be an enjoyable read. Too bad the word “enjoyable” can’t be used to describe Sly’s Judge Dredd…unless you say, “Man, Judge Dredd sucked. It would be more enjoyable to be raped by diseased rhinos than to ever sit through that movie again.”
|THIS would be more entertaining than sitting through Judge Dredd again.|
|With a name like Mega-City One, I feel the city's name|
must be shouted...possibly with your arms spread out
|Ma-Ma likes knife fights...or has a cougar for a cat in order to take the crazy cat|
lady shit up to 11.
When I first saw the trailer for this movie—this trailer…
I immediately wrote it off because visions of Rob Schneider and Stallone barely mumbling out, “I am the law,” began to dance in my head—you hear that? Judge Dredd was so bad it tainted my desire to ever see another adaptation of the comic. However, because I’ll give every movie a shot (unless the words “A Tyler Perry Film” appear on the case), I watched the movie and, in the opening seconds, the film cemented itself as vastly superior to the travesty that was the 1995 one. Not only does the movie punch you in the balls with fast pace, ass-kicking action but it then teabags you with a Dredd that makes Sly’s version look like a weepy little boy who just wet himself after being served up some spicy “we just showed you how shitty your movie really was” pie. Basically, this movie is molesting you in ways that involves metaphoric testicles—but in a killer way!
|"I'm, like, a psychic and stuff."|
Right as the film starts, Karl Urban shows that he’s out to play the comic version of Dredd and not just do the Stallone way—and that way is to be Stallone in place of Dredd. It was clear from the very start that this movie was meant to be a faithful adaptation to the works the comic book had been doing—because in 1995 they had the attitude of “fuck it, it’s a comic. Only lonely nerds read those and they don’t know what they like.”
|Dredd Leroy Jenkins each and every situation...only he succeeds where Leroy fails.|
Karl Urban translates the already bad-ass character of Dredd from the pages nearly perfectly. Stallone proved you can easily destroy this character and there was a real danger it could have been done again. For example, if Sam Worthington was cast as Dredd, we would have had to endure an hour and a half of him growling his lines (remember, he thinks growling lines means he’s a legitimate tough guy). Initially, it seemed Urban was going to be a generic harsh whispering gun-slinger but by channeling Dirty Harry rather than Sully from Avatar, Urban proved to make Dredd more of a individualized bad-ass and less of a laughing-stock generic brooding hero. Further more, and true to comic form, Dredd NEVER takes off his helmet. Urban is humble enough (and far less egotistical) to play the role with the dome on his head the entire time and not for a minute and thirty seconds like Rocky did. That fact alone is enough to piss all over the steaming heap that was the last film.
|That bucket NEVER comes off...NEVER! It's Urban's "fuck you" to Stallone's face.|
The story is simple but strong enough that it is able to enlist some major testosterone-inducing action sequences with just enough gore to be entertaining and keep it from reaching silly levels. The violence is fast pace and brutal and keeps the movie moving along nicely while creating a fantastic, ultra-violent popcorn flick that doesn’t disappoint for action fans. Also, the greatest thing about this movie—the complete and utter lack of Rob Schneider! Seriously, what the fuck was the 1995 film thinking adding him? He’s walking, talking proof that the filmmakers were just pissing on the comic books when making that movie—and I don’t mean that metaphorically. I literally mean that in-between takes, the cast and crew dropped their pants and just started to unleash a golden shower on a pile of 2000 AD comics.