By Guillermo Troncoso.
It shows just how hell-bound society is when every movie depicting the future shows overly populated, dilapidated, crime-ridden cities that, unfortunately, don’t seem too far removed from some of today’s areas. Our dystopian future is once again shown in the same light (darkness?) in the second film based on the comic book character, Judge Dredd. Dredd’s a bad-ass cop that has the power to jury, judge and execute criminals in the name of justice.
The films premise is very simple. On a day that Dredd is training rookie cop Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a young woman who has the power of telepathy, they are locked inside a giant building during a routine murder investigation. The building is run by Ma-ma (Lena Headey from Game of Thrones), a ruthless criminal who is manufacturing a drug called Slo-Mo that makes you feel as though time is moving at a fraction of normal speed. Gun fire ensues.
Those that remember Sylvester Stallone’s 1995 failure will be pleased to see a more straight-forward shoot-em-up action flick with this adaptation. If you caught last years Indonesian action flick The Raid then the plot here is going to feel like a déjà vu. It’s one giant shoot out with a tiny bit of character development and a whole lot of people getting killed. Director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) directs the action well. There isn’t a shred of subtlety or great dialogue to be found amongst the scattered corpses but this isn’t that kind of film. It’s an unashamedly graphic action movie that will definitely keep it’s target audience happy.
A problem with the film is that the action, while being well staged and well filmed, gets a little stale once the first hand full of set pieces have played out. Originality is a major problem throughout. How many different ways can you see someone get shot? Well, this film seems to answer that question.
Repetition aside, there is fun to be had here. Karl Urban is good as Dredd and Lena Headey embraces her character’s king bitch persona with gusto. The scenes depicting how it is to be on Slo-Mo are undeniably cool and the 3D works well with the over-the-top action on display. If you know what you’re getting yourself into with this flick then you won’t be surprised with what you see. Hell, if you switch your brain off and embrace some good old-fashioned goon slaughtering then you might even love it!
THE REEL SCORE: 6/10