2012 / Director. Pete Travis.
DREDD is a balls to the wall, ultra violent new adaptation of the famous 2000AD comic. It bares no relation to the Sylvester Stallone movie from the 90s other than its source. The first thing that struck me about this new film is how much it highlights the incompetence of the Australian Classification Board. The movie was granted an MA15+ rating and yet showcases some of the most explicitly graphic violence I've seen in a long time. Some recent films like Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning and Rambo were restricted with R18+ ratings, yet pale in terms of violence (still full-on though)... anyway, we all know how much the classification board sucks and so I digress. I loved DREDD. It's story is simple. In a post apocalyptic world cities have fallen and people live in mega-blocks (giant complexes) build on the ruins of a past world. Law enforcement is bestowed upon a squad of officers who act as judge, jury and executioner. I'm sure most of you know the drill from the 1995 movie. Judge Dredd and a new rookie cadet attend a crime scene in one of the mega blocks where they stumble upon the city's biggest drug operation. The building is put into lockdown and Dredd faces off with a seemingly endless assault of gangsters. Thematically it's quite similar to the Korean film The Raid. Karl Urban plays Dredd and he's perfectly cast. Full kudos to him too because it's a selfless role. Unlike Stallone's portrayal, Urban's face is never revealed as he wears the helmet throughout the entire film, as he is depicted in the comic. The film's style is well conceived with an aggressive, gritty and wretched aesthetic. As I mentioned already the violence in the film was surprising and confronting but entirely appropriate. Director Pete Travis never shies away from it and the camera doesn't flinch. He has made a highly stylised and hugely entertaining action spectacle. Don't ya love it when they get things right?