Great use of the 3D effects, keeping true to the original graphic novel, and awesome CGI seamlessly integrated with fine acting makes this remake of the classic “Judge Dredd” movie with Sylvester Stallone well worth seeing! Set in the future where crime is rampant with unemployment statistics given for each megaplex apartment building where 75,000 to 100,000 people try to survive with 98% unemployment and gangs running everything, only the police who work from the “Hall of Justice” try to keep things remotely civil. With so much crime, the police have been given full authority to act as jury, judge, and executioners of the justice they decree on the spot.
Karl Urban steps into the iconic role of Judge Dredd after being in other blockbuster movies such as Star Trek (Bones), The Bourne Supremacy (Kirill), The Chronicles of Riddick (Vaako), and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Eomer). You never see more than just his mouth and chin though, true to the graphic novel, he never removes his Judge helmet.
The primary protagonist (bad guy/girl) of the film is “Ma-Ma” who is played by Lena Headey, better known recently as “Mother Lanister” on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”, the incestual mother of King Geoffrey. She plays the scarred leader of the dominant gang in a gigantic 200 floor housing complex building who had murdered all of the other gangs in the building, and is now selling a drug called SLOW-MO, that makes the person taking it feel like time almost stands still, and everything moves in slow motion which makes for some outstanding special effects in the shooting and fight scenes!
When Judge Dredd responds to a report of a multi-murder at the complex with a rookie probationary psychic female judge riding along on her first day as a cop, they antagonize Ma-Ma and she shuts down the building’s blast shields and begins an all-out assault against the trapped judge/cops. When they attempt to call for backup, they discover their radios will not transmit outside of the blast shields and they are on their own.
Dredd’s rookie partner doesn’t wear a helmet because it interferes with her mutant psychic abilities which comes in very handy as they are working their way through the building trying to avoid the gang members Ma-Ma has tasked with killing the judges. Some of the most gruesome, but best graphics in the movie show realistically what a body would look like after falling 200 stories onto a concrete floor and there’s not much left. It’s nice to know that even in the future recycling is important since they don’t call the coroner or undertaker, but call for the recycling wagon for all bodies. I wonder what they recycle them into? Maybe it’s best we don’t know.
I enjoyed this futuristic perspective on what will happen to civilization in the future. I hope it is wrong, or at least that I’m outta here, as well as my children and grandson before things get that bad!
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