6 September 2012

DREDD 3D - Urban IS Dredd!


At last we have the DREDD film that all the fans have been waiting 35 years for. If you don't know much about the character, then don't worry! You don't need a long winded origins story to bring you up to speed, as Karl gives a voice over to the opening shots that tells you all you need to know. Once he's finished it's time for 90 plus minutes of action.

Urban nails old stoney face perfectly, his mannerisms, his voice and his general bearing. When he talks it's in a way so that people listen. Why waste fifty words when five will do to get your point across and he doesn't need to shout to hammer the point home. He handles the action sequences like a pro and his weapon drills are spot on, along with his precise unarmed combat skills. What you see is believable and a joy to watch as he goes about his job!

Thirlby brings Anderson to life with a superb display of empathy and controlled aggression, as she has to prove in these 24 hours that she has the determination and skills to be a Judge in Mega-City One! She goes about this even when she feels and sees the consequences of her actions at certain stages through the film and sometimes it can be quite heartbreaking for her!

Headey plays a brilliantly villain as Ma Ma. Brought up in the slums and decides that she needs to be Top Dog and takes to that role easily. There's none of that insane crime boss stuff here. Understated is how I would best describe her and at some stages you could actually feel sorry for her! Could I describe her as a victim, that's for Dredd to decide!

As for the action sequences, I thoroughly enjoyed them and couldn't pick any faults. The training that Karl and Olivia have done shows on the screen, as they never put a foot wrong as they progress through the film. They are brutal, methodical and clinical in their pursuit of bringing Ma Ma to justice!

The Slo Mo is cleverly shot and even when you are watching horrendous round impacts on flesh, or glass shatter it brings a vivid beauty to the eye and you forget about the carnage you are witnessing but rather pick up on the tranquillity of it all! Think the Discovery Channel but up a few notches!

Alex Garland has brought a Dredd to the screen that is just what the fans have wanted and his script is lean, never lets up and is right to the core of the character. What you get on screen is what the fans have been reading in 2000 AD for 35 years. Also, one amazing nod to many of the writers, artists and fans is that Alex has crammed names in places throughout the film and it is a pleasure to catch a glimpse of names you know but obviously this only works if you know them in the first place!

At last John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra have a film that does 'justice' to their creation!

To me this is the best adaption of a comic book character since Christopher Reeve was and always will be, Superman!


  1. I’ve been a fan since 1977 reading Dredd in prog 2. I’ve Just seen the movie and Karl is Judge Dredd! The film was Awsome! I will be going again next week.

  2. I've been reading 2kAD since I was about 11, and I was absolutely champing at the bit to see the film. Sadly, I'll have to wait for DVD unless the cinemas round here decide to let me watch it in 2D. There's one screen within about 100 miles showing it in a format I can watch - at teatime (no good with kids) or midnight (yeah, right). That drops to just one performance a day from Sunday.

    So, due to the fact that my eyes don't agree with 3D and cause me pain, I get to miss out on seeing my film of the year on the big screen. Fan-drokking-tastic :(

  3. I've got to say I was very reluctant to watch it in 3D, but the Empire Leicester Square trip was worth it. I don't have binocular vision. My right eye was deemed useless by my brain at a very young eye (due to it being turned in about 90 degrees). After a couple of operations I do get some peripheral image in it (albeit very blurry).

    I've never seen a 3D image through red/green glasses, or been able to do a magic eye picture. Whenever I watch a 3D TV I see no 3D effect at all. I've avoided going to a 3D cinema screening as I see it as a waste. Extra ticket price just to watch a murky version of the film (potentially at half the frame rate).

    Well, the showing we saw on Saturday night was via polarised glasses. The image was a little darker than normal, but I think the film is purposefully brighter than you'd expect to account for this. Frame rate wasn't an issue (as it would be with shutter glasses). But most amazingly of all I did get a 3D effect for the first time ever - in one, 2 second scene (right at the end)!

    I can only imagine that the 3D throughout would be quite something to see. However, I still think it's a gimmick employed almost entirely to extract more money out of customers. I applaud Christopher Nolan for avoiding it.

  4. Thanks for the review John (and thanks for organising our trip).

    I thought it was great - and at one point, when Dredd was threatening someone in the film, I honestly felt my heart start to race. I was actually intimidated by him! It is a remarkable performance.

  5. Glad to say we managed to catch the 2D showing yesterday (the one, single showing in Glasgow) in a packed theatre - courtesy of a kindly grandma who volunteered to look after the kids for us as I'd had a shitter of a weekend working!

    Review should make it onto my blog later, but it will be positive :)

  6. Your review is spot on! As a longtime Dredd fan, I found myself not wanting to get excited to see it and raise any expectations. I was absolutely blown away. The film is completely immersive, visceral and feels completely real. Fingers crossed for tons of sequels!

  7. I loved Dredd 3D. Like you I thought it was spot on in nearly all areas. It was Dredd as it should be. I even went back to the cinema a week and a half later to watch it again and in my 30 years of life I've NEVER seen a film twice at the cinema.

    My only complaint with the film is that Lionsgate (or whoever) restricted the number of 2D showings and, like your commenter above, not everyone wants to watch a film in 3D (and pay the extra). I think that that was a mistake that hurt the film's final box-office takings and, eventually, damaged our chance of getting a sequel.

    However, that aside, the film was very well done and I'm looking forward to watching it on DVD (I don't have Blu-ray yet.

  8. Cracking wee review there, mate. I really enjoyed the movie too. It was perhaps a bit more on the "grim, gritty and realistic" side than I'd have wanted a Dredd movie to be but I can understand and appreciate the approach taken. I'd say my only "serious" criticism is that I think old stoney-face should have arrested that hostage at the start for something. Would have set up the "uncompromising man of the law" character perfectly. Otherwise, terrific effort!


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