‘Dredd’ is the 2012 film directed by Pete Travis. Screenwriter was Alex Garland. Based on the comic book Judge Dredd by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra.
For anyone who loved the original RoboCop. It’s shocking, ruthless and a guilty pleasure. Dredd (Karl Urban) doesn’t have time for a sense of humor. He’s all business because 17,000 crimes reported are daily where 800 million people live. Judges rule in Mega City One.
The first of several revamped regions of the USA left following the Atomic Wars of 2070. This turned the majority of the country into a radioactive wasteland. Dredd is a legend in a place where Judges are the judge, jury and executioner for all crimes committed.
Chief Judge (Rakie Ayola) annoys him by assigning rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) as a partner. He just wants to work and get the job done. Anderson getting herself killed means more paperwork for him. God help her if he gets shot on her account. Then he learns something interesting.
Anderson is psychic. She might be useful after all. Since it’s her assessment he allows her to pick their assignment for the day. She chooses Peach Trees. A slum in the form of 200-storey complex divided into four towers or sections. Crime boss Madeline Madrigal aka "Ma-Ma" (Lena Headey) has Peach Trees under her control.
She expanded her empire into manufacturing the designer drug Slo-Mo. It slows the user's perception of time down to 1% of the normal rate. Ma-Ma wants the Judges dead. She can’t have them learning Peach Trees is her distribution center. Kay’s (Wood Harris) knowledge about her business makes him a liability.
The good: Was inspired by Blade Runner and the inspiration for RoboCop. Perfectly cast. Ma-Ma’s gang was more afraid of her than Dredd. The depiction of Mega City One. Special effects that was beautiful and disturbing at the same time. The dirty Judges. Smart weapons and the monster Judge bikes. Who had the best on-screen death?
The movie soundtrack. War override locks down the entire complex. Everyone locks their door when Dredd walks through the corridor. Will Anderson bring some humanity to the emotionless Dredd? Love the nods to Blade Runner. Two Judges against hundreds of gang members. Who has the advantage?
When Quark quoted rule 285 from the Rules of Acquisition he was right. No good deed ever goes unpunished. Kay made the mistake of trying to get inside Anderson’s head. Did he forget she’s a telepath?
The bad: Brutal enough to make you flinch and feel guilty for laughing. People dumb enough to hang around to watch Ma-Ma try to take out Dredd. Innocent bystanders. Pissing off Dredd is not a good idea. No gender equality. Olivia Thirlby was nude twice. But Wood Harris was fully dressed for Kay’s sex dreams about Anderson. How did TJ, the med lab guy, not overhear the dirty Judges conversation?
The ugly: No sequel.
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