When word got out about a new Dredd movie, first thing I thought was why? Stallone‘s version of Judge Dredd was beyond abysmal and barely watchable. Granted, I was never a Dredd fan but after watching Dredd, all I can say, “The helmet stays on!” Karl Urban is becoming one of my favorite character actor who does not mind in not being recognized in many roles as in, “Hey, that’s Karl as…” He is the complete opposite of Tom Cruise and though I like some of his films, he always looks like Tom Cruise regardless of the role. But not Karl; he’s different and truly amazing like Jeffrey Comb amazing. Aside from playing Éome in the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and channeling the spirit of Dr. McCoy in the Star Trek (2009), there was a little film he did called Pathfinder (2007) which I enjoyed immensely. And yes, there was Doom (2005) but frankly that movie was a mess.
As I mentioned, “The helmet stays on.” This risk of not seeing the actor’s face was a gamble and not many actors would have wanted this option; hence Stallone. Karl is Dredd from start to end and that is a good thing. We can look at Dredd as noted in the film as the face of justice much in the way Darth Vader is the face of the Empire. Dredd is a solid character and is driven to provide justice; never wavering from his duties. Even in the face of overwhelming odds, while his grumpy cat expression gets grumpier, he does care and shows a compassionate side; just once. From a writer’s point of view, this is a classic example of show and not tell about the character and Karl does that convincing through out his performance.
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 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, 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 storey vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma 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. Written by Production