Dredd 3D Movie Review

A little while ago I went out with a friend to the movies, and having heard of next to none of the films showing, we decided to try our luck with the action-flick, Dredd 3D. Despite the title, we didn’t see it in 3D. Warning that this post may contain spoilers.

Dredd 3D  is a sci-fi, action film directed by Pete Travis, and written and produced by Alex Garland. It is based off the comic strip Judge Dredd  which was written and created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. The film is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where the law enforcement (called ‘Judges’) are given the power of judge, jury and executioner. The story is focussed on Judge Dredd and his inexperienced sidekick Judge Cassandra Anderson, as they try to bring order of a 200-story block of flats who is in the control of drug dealer Madeline “Ma-Ma” Madrigal.

To be blunt and to the point, I did not like this film. The acting was borderline at best. The main cast includes Karl Urban (Judge Dredd), Olivia Thirlby (Judge Cassandra Anderson), Lena Headey (Madeline “Ma-Ma” Madrigal) and Wood Harris (Kay). Karl Urban’s acting irritated me in a multitude of ways. Firstly, his expression was a frown pretty much during the whole film, despite what was going on at the time. Then there was his voice, which was bordering on a Terminator-like voice. They were trying to make him sound macho and tough, but it really just made him sound ridiculous.

The humour in the film was a little off. There were some parts that were a bit funny, but most of the times I was laughing at Judge Dredd’s annoying facial expression and Madeline Madrigal’s nickname ‘Ma-Ma’. Ma-Ma was supposed to be a strong and scary character, but her name just made her seem like a joke. For a very serious film, I just couldn’t take the majority of it seriously. A lot of it just seemed silly.

Then there was the storyline, or lack thereof. There was a very simple story throughout the movie, but it mainly just seemed like an excuse for action. There was next to no character development, either. I usually don’t like films about discovering yourself, but Dredd 3D really needed some of that to make it more interesting. It was just dull. It felt like my mind wasn’t being used at all. There were no second meanings or subtle clues or hints. No complex explanations, storylines or characters. It was simple. There were lots of ways in which I thought the film could go, and should have, to make it more complex. Maybe finding more about Judge Dredd, who he is and his past. Maybe some more information about the creation of the recreational drug Slo-Mo. Maybe some more insights in what it meant to be a Judge. But there was nothing.

The special effects were pretty good, however. At first, they were a little confusing when showing the effects of Slo-Mo, but eventually they became apparent. Apart from that, they were all very realistic. Any CGI was not noticeable at the explosive effects were pretty cool.

The music by Paul Leonard-Morgan definitely suits the films. It’s low and intense. Very electronic as well which I think is to make it feel more futuristic. I actually like the soundtrack, it was one of the few good things about the film. It was all that was there to make Dredd 3D feel even a little epic. If it wasn’t, the entire film would have been a complete joke. The soundtrack was Dredd 3D‘s saving grace. Here’s one of the songs from the film:

Favourite character/actor: Tech-guy (Domnhall Gleeson)

Least favourite character/actor: Judge Dredd (Karl Urban)

Favourite scene: When Ma-Ma’s lackeys shoot out an entire section of building, only for Judge Dredd to survive

Least favourite scene: Almost all of them

Rating; 1.5/5 stars

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