A movie that lives up to its name, fanboys excluded
They don’t come much darker than this. The setting is future America, what’s left of the east coast: a mega city that stretches from Boston to D.C. where criminals and gangs rule the crowded streets and town-sized buildings. The only order comes from the judges. They’re cop, judge, jury and executioner all in one. If it all sounds vaguely familiar to non-comic book fans, that’s because it’s a remake of a ’95 Sly Stallone flick.
Judge Dredd (played by Karl Urban) is training a possible new recruit (Olivia Thirlby of “Juno” and “The Wackness”) when they run into the mother of all gangsters: a woman who calls herself Ma-Ma (Lena Headley). We never get to see Dredd’s face . He’s helmeted at all times so what little wooden acting Urban does, he need only use his mouth. Thirlby gets to go helmet-less because she has awesome psychic powers , which would be lessened by a helmet. Right. Yeah- there are more holes in this story than in swiss cheese.
Still, the effects are pretty awesome – especially when they involve a super new drug that not only creates a high, it seriously slows down time. Which brings a whole new meaning to torture. I wasn’t too impressed by the 3-D. The best of it was in the opening credits. Not a good sign.
This a relentlessly bleak, dark, fast-paced ghastly violent grade-B film that blessedly lasts 90 minutes and makes no apologies for what it is. I smell the start of a new franchise.