Dredd is an one hour and a half action movie directed by Pete Travis, and written partially by Alex Garland (28 Days Later 2002, Never Let Me Go 2010). Among the cast we have as principal characters: Karl Urban, Lena Headey mostly known thanks to Game of Thrones, as Cersei Lannister, “the one sleeping with her brother yeurk”, and Olivia Thirlby (known for some second roles as in No Strings Attached 2011 or in Being Flynn 2012).
The movie is based on the comic created in 1977 by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra who worked with Alex Garland on the script for Dredd 2012. Danny Cannon directed the first film about it in 1995, starring Sylvester Stallone, named Judge Dredd. Cannon’s Dredd had kind of bad feedbacks,; Stallone wanted to show his face whereas in the comic the Judge’s face is never supposed to be shown (maybe it was a marketing trick so that people would say “OH MY GOD THIS IS ROCKY” or whatever, and run to see the movie). However it did quite a flop in the United States that year. So when Travis’ Dredd came in, people had low expectancies (and I was one of them). That’s why I was agreeably surprised when I saw it.
Basically the story is about the conflict between violent criminals and justice, in a futurist and dystopian America. It takes place in a metropolis: Mega City One, where a drug; the Slo-Mo, is in circulation. The name is explaining the effect of the drug; coming from Slow Motion, the Slo-Mo slows the perception of time to who’s using it. The Judge is then asked to arrest (or kill) Madeline Madrigal (Lena Heardey, Ma-Ma of drugs) who kills by forcing her victims to take the Slo-Mo and then throws them away through a window. To do that, the Judge has to team up with new recruit, Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) who possesses quite astonishing skills. And there we go, the hunt is launched!
The graphics are great, we are kind of thinking we’re watching the story running when we start a video game. A lot of colors, futurist images and right away, we are introducing to the Slo-Mo. We’re seeing The Judge on his bike, chasing a couple of guys in a car, using the drug. And Pete Travis, filmed the effect of the SM (sounds wrong…) using well… a strong slow motion. And further in the movie, a scene will become cult (and was before even the movie was projected, thank you, YouTube); a violent shootout. The Judge and Cassandra enter in an apartment where people (linked to Ma-Ma) are using, and begin to shoot them. The scene is filmed in order to let us see from the eyes of the judges, and the dealers.
Well, globally, this is not the best film ever, but it allows you to kill some time, enjoying the graphics and the Slo-Mo scenes. And for those who saw Judge Dredd, seeing Dredd now, could be a nice surprise.