When most people think of Judge Dredd, it is because of the Stallone actioner from 1995 and not the very funny comic book sci-fi satire from british publisher 2000AD.I´m not sure if people would have though if not the interest of making fun of "cheesy" movies had caught on the Interweb and getting some late undeserved recognition that way.If not,I still think that movie hurt the possibility of further ,more proper,installments in a series that never have gotten a chance to break into a real franchise. It was a big budgeted studiomovie that fell victim of the system.This is independantly produced.
This movie is far from "cheesy", it´s a gritty cop-actionmovie. The science fiction setting could easily have been substituted for perhaps a bordertown in the old West or a regular apartment complex with some slight adjustments. It is RIO BRAVO and ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 in one.
Dredd is being told to evaluate a rookie-judge, also a mutant with psychic abilities by the name of Anderson and her first day on the job. Which is a real shitty day,being trapped inside an apartment complex ruled by druglord and bitchqueen Ma-Ma played by Game of Thrones´ Lena Headey. For Dredd it´s just another day in the deepend. Think THE RAID and you get the picture. If you still don´t get it,google it. It´ll help.
I reminds me of a lot of 80´s-90´s copactionmovies where a more seasoned veteran is forced to work alongside a partner despite reluctance. The twist here is that Dredd is not the individual action hero prototype that likes to "bend the law" " or "trust his own instincts" over factual evidence. He is a strict lawman and order is needed in a post-apocalyptic world where the city is just a few steps away from anarchy.
There are plenty of things to like about this particular copmovie. For one, it´s not holding back on the grisly deaths. See, there is this drug in the movie called slo-mo and here is a picture of a severe sideeffect by taking it:
|The sideeffect: getting a cool death.|
It is a very stylish addition and makes for some fantastic looking shots in the slow mo shootout. The cinematography is great throughout the picture with a lot of vibrant colours that´s usually lacking in most movies today. A lot of other cool setpieces are in this besides the druginduced shootout. Shit like this:
|A "bright boy" failing to comply Dredd.|
What I like about this new interpretation of a culturally important piece of art is that they bring back the original comicbook concept of Dredd. The judge, jury and executioner part in the comics was dropped early on and the Dredd in the comicbooks I have read have not condemned perps to death and executed them on the spot, but here he does.
In fact the Megacity One is being portrayed as a city on the verge on collapse and that justifies the harshness of the judicial system and after watching this talking motion picture (in full color,not available in black and white) I can understand the need of bringing order.How the hell they are going to fix a social system with an unemployment rate of 97% however is beyond me.
In the comics with its insane logic they explain that people grow up with the very notion they will be unemployed, its part of the elementary education system where kids are being taught that they have no future and should pick up a hobby of some sorts so they don´t go insane. Personally I don´t think a hobby is the solution.Collecting stamps or solving crossword puzzles are not existential solutions,I think. Then again, the suicidal rate of Megacity One is unsurprisingly astronomical. In one issue they describe this "sunday night fever" where unemployed people every sunday go on mass-suicides like lemmings. A ridiculous and fantastic piece of comicbookery, Judge Dredd is.
Pro Tip: Read the comics, watch this movie and forget about the Stallone-version.