Saturday, July 20, 2013

Now at Netflix: Dredd (2012)

Dredd (2012) - Directed by Pete Travis; Written by Alex Garland; Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey.

By Kenny Howell

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, over the top action was king. Total Recall, RoboCop, Predator, all were ultra violent, and a lot of fun. And they were all a bit silly, but were well aware of it. The went over the top and kept going.

That has disappeared, as action movies have become much safer so they can get a PG-13, or if they are are R, they don't really go far enough.

Dredd, the second attempt at making a movie out of the Judge Dredd comic, returns to that form. The entire East Coast is basically a wasteland with giant skyscraper housing units. A large portion of the northeast is just one giant city called Mega City One. It is run by crime, so men and women known as judges are the law enforcement. They have the power of judge, jury and executioner, and take care of all of them at once.

Dredd is the most feared, but he gets caught in a giant housing unit run by a former prostitute turned crime lord named Mama (Headey). Her gang is all strung out on a drug called Slo-Mo, and Dredd must destroy them with help of a judge in training with special powers played by Olivia Thirlby.

Like I said, the movie is ultraviolent and fun. The acting is ridiculously over the top, and it never tries to take itself too seriously. And there is no Rob Schneider in sight like in the original attempt at adaptation. That's always a positive.

The movie is in talks for a sequel.

Rating: **1/2

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