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The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One- a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called "Judges" who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge - a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of "Slo-Mo" experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed.During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture- a 200 story vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan's inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound's control center and wages a dirty, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire. With the body count climbing and no way out, Dredd and Anderson must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival.
The endlessly inventive mind of writer Alex Garland and director Pete Travis bring DREDD to life as a futuristic neo-noir action film. Filmed in 3D with stunning slow motion photography sequences, the film returns the celebrated character to the dark, visceral incarnation from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra's revered comic strip.
Dredd is a property that's ripe for a good translation to the big screen. It's maybe the best known comic to come out of the UK and it's just begging for a great movie translation.
A lot of people complained about the fact that he didn't wear his helmet throughout the film (something that the comic book Dredd is known for), but really what did you expect? I doubt that Urban will be doing any different this time around either. There were some really cool ideas in the movie though and the whole helmet thing didn't really bother me much.
There were a lot of other changes to Dredd's backstory in the movie though and I really didn't like Stallone in the role too much. But then again, 2000AD fans were probably pretty lucky to have even gotten what they did. Comic book movies weren't exactly treated with a lot of respect back in the '90s- happily, that's changed quite a bit these days.
Reserve your judgement fans- we'll see what Garland and Travis' Dredd looks like this September the 21st in theaters everywhere. Crossing fingers... now.
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