We live in a world of sequels and remakes, and for a good majority of these films, the reception turns out pretty harshly. This is probably because a remake will lose what everyone loved about the original. However rare it may be, a remake may come along that people will enjoy more than the original. One such film is “Dredd“, a film that has been recognized by many critics as better than the original. How true is that though?
It is a futuristic world, and there is a fine line between order and chaos. There is one system of justice in the world, and that is the judges. Each judge has the power of judge, jury and executioner. Our story follows Judge Dredd (Karl Urban), one of the most popular judges in the whole pool. An extremely addicting drug called Slo-Mo has made its rounds around the city, slowing down the perceptions of its user to 1% of normalcy. This drug is manufactured in a slum tower block known as “Peach Trees” headed by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), a common criminal. Dredd, along with a psychic rookie judge, Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) head to the tower to put an end to the madness. The only problem is that the tower is locked down by indestructible blast shields. It is up to Dredd and Anderson to ascend the tower, taking out whoever crosses them.
Already we know a monumental fact. This is a completely different story than the original film. Those of you who have seen the film “Judge Dredd” starring Sylvester Stallone are already aware that the film centered around Dredd as he is framed with murder. Some people are offended at such a shift in story, but it shouldn’t be the same, if we wanted the same we would see the original. It has plenty of homage to the original film, and plenty of originality accompanying it.
The story itself feels like a classic. It feels like a classic because it is incredibly simple and it is something that we have actually seen quite a few times. It’s a very simple idea. Have the main hero start at the bottom level moving up until he reaches the boss. It is in every single video game, so gamers will love this film. The same can be said for a few other movies like Bruce Lee’s famous “Tower of Death” or even last years Indonesian hit, “Raid: The Redemption“. It is one of those incredibly simple storylines that are a blast to watch, and a good vacation from the long list of complex storylines that are equally as great.
3D is implemented in this film, so you can expect to find some stunning visuals involved. For the most part, there are extremely vivid colors and slow-motion magic attributed to the Slo-Mo drug that never gets tiring to look at. It’s beautiful, even when people are getting their heads blown off. So be prepared to have conflicting emotions concerning the visuals. Apart from that, there is a lot of action, violence, and gore throughout. From start to finish, the action is unrelenting, so fans of action-flicks will also love this movie to death.
The acting could have used a little help. There is nothing particularly special about any of the characters when it comes to acting. Nothing shouts great acting, as it is mostly drowned out by the action and violence. However, what is lost with the acting is gained by the character in general. There is a reason why this was made into a remake. The character of Judge Dredd is incredibly memorable. The filmmakers were somehow able to grasp the positive features of the original and translate it into this version.
This film is not for the viewer with the weak stomach. While the gore is slightly unrealistic at times, it is still gore, and you get the idea in gruesome detail. For everyone else, this film is fun and exciting. It is a reminder of what made older films a joy to watch, while taking out what maybe made it ludicrous. It is the best of both worlds, if you can call it that. Yes, it has its issues, but nothing an audience member won’t be able to look past.
“Dredd” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Jan. 8!