|JUDGE ANDERSON AND JUDGE DREDD|
(OLIVIA THIRLBY AND KARL URBAN)
This post concludes my project of sharing with you my fifty favorite comic book movies. These posts have done very well for me in terms of readership and interacting with many of you. I want to say thanks to everyone that has taken the time to read any of them, and I hope you've found doing so well worth your time. These films were listed in chronological order based on the date they were first released in theaters, so this list obviously ends with the year 2012. There are several comic book movies forthcoming beginning with “Iron Man 3” this weekend and extending all the way to "Ant-Man" at the end of 2015. I'm sure many of those films will ultimately replace some of the movies currently on my list, but as of now, it is what it is. I hope you enjoyed these posts, and as always, thank you so much for reading!
Final Note: These posts do contain spoilers.
Directed by Pete Travis
Released on September 21, 2012, in the United States
Gritty, bloody, and violent. Those are four words I can use to describe “Dredd” that I usually don't use when describing comic book movies. However, this adaptation of the “2000 AD” comic strip featuring Judge Dredd (a recurring character in those stories that has also been the subject of his own comic book series) is as in-your-face with its tone and style than any comic book film I have ever seen.
The basic plot takes place in a post-apocalyptic United States and within the confines of Mega-City One, which is regulated by “Judges”, a new breed of law enforcement with the power to arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals.
Judge Dredd (a no-nonsense veteran Judge that is highly skilled at his job) takes a rookie Judge with Psychic abilities named Cassandra Anderson out for training, and on her very first day, the duo end up responding to a triple homicide at the Peach Trees tower block in which the victims were injected with a narcotic known as Slo-Mo (which slows the brain to a point that time is perceived in slow motion) and then skinned alive before being thrown two-hundred stories to their deaths.
Judges Dredd and Anderson arrive to Peach Tress and all hell breaks loose during their attempted apprehension of suspects, including a young man in league with the powerful and dangerous drug lord known as Ma-Ma.
Fearing that interrogation of the suspect will lead to the spilling of her own secrets, Ma-Ma orders the tower locked-down in an effort to keep anyone on the inside from getting out.
This leaves the two Judges locked inside with dozens of bloodthirsty mercenaries looking to appease Ma-Ma, who will go to any length without reservation to kill the Judges.
From here, it's a race for the Judges to get to the top of the tower where Ma-Ma is and take her out before she takes them down.
All kinds of action, gunfire, and chaos ensues as the Judges close in on Ma-Ma. Some of the most horrible death scenes I've ever seen outside the realms of a horror movie take place at the hands of Dredd, who is as ruthless and unapologetic as he is determined.
Karl Urban portrays Judge Dredd and does a great job coming across as focused and intimidating while appropriately withholding all compassion for any of the criminals he encounters. I thought Olivia Thirlby (Judge Anderson) was likeable enough in her role, and Lena Headey was absolutely wicked as Ma-Ma, playing the role of villain to perfection here.
Despite a lot of critical praise from fans of the comics, positive reviews from those who saw the film, and being hundreds of times better than the 1995 film that featured Sylvester Stallone, “Dredd” was a box office bomb that failed to even make back its $45-million budget.
However, I don't feel hesitant at all to recommend this film, particularly if you enjoy science-fiction themed movies with brains and blood. There is plenty of action, a very high body count and even a few disturbing images that will easily keep you on the edge of your seat throughout this 90-minute film. Fans of the comics should absolutely enjoy it, and it just might get a few people who aren't familiar with the source material to check it out!
Karl Urban … Judge Dredd
Olivia Thirlby… Judge Anderson
Lena Headey … Ma-Ma
Wood Harris … Kay
Warrick Grier … Caleb