Directed by Pete Travis, staring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey. The story follows Judge Dredd as he takes on new recrute Anderson as they begin her training and uncover a drug ring and one of the cities biggest criminals, who are distributing the new drug SLOW-MO on the market.
Personally I never read the Judge Dredd comics so I have no idea how closely or loosely this film is faithful to the comics. However I am very much aware that the orignal film staring Sly Stallone was hated because he removed the famous Judge helmet. Urban does not do this, instead he does what I consider a fantastic and very much under appreciated job. Considering all we see of him is his mouth and jaw as the rest of his face is hidden by the helmet and the rest under a protective suit.
As for Anderson, she is just starting out and has the powers of a physic needless to say this is used for great fun and imagination through the film and they actual do use this to some great respect.
The two issues I had with this film are these, the format of this film in the way they are trying to get to the main boss who is at the top of a city block meaning they must fight through 200 floors of people is incredibly similar to a fantastic asian film called The Raid where the premiss is the same just replaced with martial arts instead of shooting.
My other issue with this film is the drug, the drug its self is desgined to slow down time for the user, so one they breathe it in everything slows down including themselves. However the film does not explain why this is a bad thing, the only negative side effect this seems to have is harm on your gums. Throughout the film I found this frustrating, no one goes crazy or shows any negative signs.
However for an action film this is simply stunning and the music is fantastic. Due to the drug slowing down time, many times we see action shots from this perspective and it works really well. Not one for those with a weak stomach as we are subjected to watch people being shot and thrown over balconies, which they have done a really good job of showing.
The drug king pin, MaMa, played by Lena Headey is really well done, her performance is very good and she even has horrible teeth which sounds like a small detail however it is a very nice touch.
I don’t understand why this did not get more attention other then comparisons to the raid, the performances are excellent with Karl Urban being particularly good. Beautiful music and fantastic action shots to keep you wanting more. Its gritty in the right places and also has a fair bit of humor.
**** As this was not well received in the box office, I would suggest you buy the DVD out today, it will be worth it.