A Dredd-ful Trip Before the Judge… in 3D: A Review of Dredd 3D

MPAA Rating: R
Run Time: 95 mins
Common Sense Rating:

“I am the law.”
– Judge Dredd
(Karl Urban)

In a movie year that has featured The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Dark Knight Rises, here comes yet another rebooted superhero movie! This time, director Pete Travis attempts to serve the people by retooling Judge Dredd, a 2000AD comic book hero in this movie simply titled, Dredd 3D.

Amidst the ruins of an America devastated by radiation, a massive yet guarded city [spanning from Boston to Washington D.C.], named Mega City One is so overrun by crime that the only check in order are “Judges”; militarized super cops that must act as Judge, Jury and Executioner on site.

Dredd (Karl Urban), a rugged ‘supreme judge’, is commissioned with training Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a novice Judge with unique abilities & will determine if she is fit to be a judge. The two judges are called to investigate a crime scene, which sparks a chain of events where Dredd is forced to use his legendary skills to survive a complex run by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), dangerous drug lord.

The movie was able to integrate elements from the comic to the main characters. The movie is action packed & there were some creative visual effects throughout the film. The overall design really accentuated the gritty world that Dredd and the judges were commissioned to police.

However, the 3D was seemed unnecessary throughout the film. On one minute, you have a great sequence that really accentuated the 3D but mostly you could hardly tell had you seen it in 2D. If I could have seen it again, I would not have seen this in 3D.

While it was nice to see Dredd on the big screen with an updated look, the story seemed pretty flat. Granted, there a couple of instances that the plot seemed interesting but mostly it felt like a played out video game where you are stuck on a level & just itching to move on to the next one.

A problem with Dredd 3D was that most of the action was inconsequential. Also, the rules made in an early scene eliminated some interesting story directions. Another issue is that story didn’t allow much room to care for the characters. For a movie that’s titled Dredd, I found myself caring more for Judge Anderson, as her story was revealed throughout the movie.

Yes, Dredd’s supposed to be dark and edgy. Yes, he’s supposed to symbolize the blindness of justice. But why not put him a storyline where we learn a bit more about him? [After being around since 1977, there has to be one or two stories.] I’m not saying that he should imitate other superhero contemporaries (i.e. Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Marvel universe) or create some kind of fake storyline that defeats the original purpose of the character.

What I am saying is that there should be a plot based around a story that shows audiences an added layer to Dredd that audiences can relate to. A shoot-‘em up cop that barely says anything gets boring after a while.

If you’re squeamish, you might want to avoid this movie as there is some gore with a whole lot of blood amidst some intense action, a scene of brief nudity and some spicy language.

The overall story of Dredd 3D did a disservice to the great character Judge Dredd is. If a couple of plot points were done differently, that just may have made a better movie. Instead, it felt like it was dragging on for a majority of the movie. For a movie that had a lot of gunplay, Dredd 3D was more like doing a stint of jury dury. C-

Fade to black…


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