SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movies Dredd (2012) and Judge Dredd (1995).
Judge Dredd was strange movie. It got Judge Dredd’s world totally correct. Then after ten or fifteen minutes Judge Dredd takes helmet off and movie turns into generic scifi action movie in 2000 AD universe. We saw that writers and director knew the source material. But for some reason they forgot it right after Judge Dredd took his helmet off. Before you ask, Rob Schneider’s could have been from Judge Dredd comic books. Taking helmet off was not big problem for me. Problem was how movie changed after that happened. I think that is reason why taking helmet off is so big deal.
Dredd should be movie that doesn’t let comic fans down. In it Judge Dredd doesn’t take the helmet off. He doesn’t grow during the movie and movie doesn’t try to make you to relate to him. Dredd is tough judge as he is in comics. I think Karl Urban overdid the angry face, but that doesn’t bother too much. There is one shot that made me believe he is Judge Dredd. It is the one where throws bad guy off the floor and walks back to smoking ruins.
Judge Anderson is rookie judge who wants to make a change. She is more relatable character than Dredd. Dredd is killing machine who doesn’t care about anyones life. Not even his own. He seems to enjoy causing pain. That is what Judge Dredd got wrong and Dredd got right. Judge Dredd tried to make Dredd human. That was mistake. Judge Dredd is not human. He is toughest judge of oppressive society. Other characters are human but not Dredd. There are Dredd comics where he shows himself at the end giving sentences to main characters of the story.
This movie is violent and nihilistic. Movie doesn’t just show violence it shows that killed people have families. Story shows how idealistic Anderson sees what it takes to be judge and finds out that maybe that is not her thing. Dredd makes her shoot criminal who has given up. Later Dredd and Anderson meet criminal’s wife and kid. Anderson let one criminal go when she sees that he was more victim than real criminal.
In the end Anderson thinks she didn’t pass evaluation. Dredd lets her pass even when Anderson made mistakes that should cause automatic failure. Dredd see that Anderson’s specials skills could be useful for judges.
This is nitpicking but there were few things I didn’t like in this movie. There was corrupted Judge named Lex. That was little too much. Another thing was that it was not explained why Anderson’s lawgiver exploded when criminal took it. Comics and earlier movie explained that judge’s lawgiver makes dna check when someone picks it. If non-judge picks it, it explodes. If you didn’t know that the scene came out of the blue. It didn’t make sense that Dredd didn’t ammo from first corrupted judge he killed. Than meant that he was out of ammo when other corrupted found him. When they are killed, he takes ammo from them.
Movie catches tone of Judge Dredd comics. I wish there was little more social commentary and bizarre characters. Beginning of Judge Dredd got those better than this.To be fair this had little social commentary. There are rumors that sequel is in consideration. That has sky rocketed dvd and blu ray sales. If you like nihilistic action movies or Judge Dredd, this is good time to check this movie.
Movie didn’t make that well in box office. In Helsinki this had only three screenings. One at movie festival and two midnigth screenings during one weekend. I don’t know were there any other screenings in Finland. That may explain poor box office.
I liked this movie and like to see sequel. This is good action movie, good scifi movie and stays faithful to source material.