I watched Dredd over the weekend and wish I hadn’t. The movie is based on the British comic book character Judge Dredd, a gritty, dystopian future cop who also serves as judge and jury to the criminal suspects he comes into contact with. In the story, America has become a irradiated wasteland with the entire population of the east coast, all 800 million residents, living in a ginormous walled city. From what I could tell from the movie, just about everyone other than Judge Dredd are either drug addicts or murderous, criminal thugs.
Most of the time, they’re both.
One of the main reasons I hated this movie was that I just saw it a couple of months ago, only then it was called The Raid: Redemption, an Indonesian action movie the screenwriters of Dredd obviously watched over and over again before penning Dredd. This movie is a rip-off of The Raid: Redemption, only not nearly as good and the dialog in English, not Indonesian.
The title role was supposedly played by Karl Urban, Doctor McCoy in the recent Star Trek reboot. Since only his chin is shown in the movie, it’s hard to recognize Urban. He’s listed in the credits, so I guess he was in it. Judge Dredd also speaks with a ridiculous sounding gravelly voice, but fortunately Urban only seems to remember to talk this way for about half the movie. Lena Headey played the top-villain, Ma-Ma. She had a huge scar on her face and she oversees a massive illegal drug making enterprise that produces a recreational narcotic that slows down the perception of time to 1% of normal .
The whole slow-down-the-perception-of-time drug is used as a really bad plot device. When Ma-Ma orders to have three rival drug dealers put to death by throwing them off the 70th floor, the condemned are forced to take a hit off this drug so their fall to the bottom will be perceived to take a long, long time. Only it wouldn’t work that way. Since it only slows down the perception of time and not time itself, once the condemned hit the bottom, their perception of time and everything else would come to a complete stop. They would be dead. Their brain would cease to process anything, let alone time. If you forced someone to take a hit off a drug that makes them process time at a much slower rate, the last thing they would ever perceive would be being forced to take a hit off the drug.
There was an absurd amount of gun violence in this movie, and it wasn’t like the gun violence normally shown in movies. The gun violence in Dredd was extremely bloody and overly gory. It wasn’t enough to see a bad guy get shot in the head, no, you see the top of his skull explode and coat the walls with brain tissue. This was less of an action movie and more of a splatter film. For all I know, the violence shown in Dredd was more accurate than what is shown in most action movies, but who wants reality when watching an action movie?
I sure don’t.
Instead of watching Dredd, go right to the source and watch The Raid: Redemption.