DVD and Blu-Ray Review: Dredd


Dredd - Credit: Archant

Why not try….Dredd?

The recent cinematic popularity of all things comic book – particularly the Marvel canon – means that smaller comic book movies find themselves lost in the rush of superhero goodness. One such film to suffer that sort of fate was Dredd, the second big-screen adaptation of the British comic book character. The first go at bringing this deliverer of justice to the cinema was 1995’s Judge Dredd, which starred Sylvester Stallone as the titular hero and subsequently buggered up the cinematic future of the character for nearly twenty years.

For Dredd, the writer sensibly decided to have the film be rather self-contained. It isn’t an origin story (like so many of these films are) and instead presents a character that most of the audience will know something of the surrounding mythology. The plot remains relatively simple and is all the better for it. Dredd (Karl Urban) takes a young recruit with psychic powers (Olivia Thirlby) on a murder case to see if she has what it takes to be a Judge. The mission takes them to a tower block under the control of Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), a vicious drug lord who locks down the building and orders all those inside to take the Judges down.

Action fans will notice similarities to The Raid in story, and hopefully won’t be disappointed by the (often) vicious action and dark comedy. The special effects and visual style are also very impressive, while Urban is suitably grizzled and stoic as Dredd and the film itself is far superior compared to the Stallone one (which made the cardinal sin of removing the character’s iconic helmet and casting Rob Schneider).

Well worth giving a go.