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Leicester, United Kingdom
Studying BA (Hons) Game Art Design at De Montfort University. It continues to be challenging as much as rewarding. Primary outcomes include 2D and 3D projects and 2am coffees.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Dredd: It wasn't dreddful (facepalm)

Last week the guys and I went to see Dredd 3D, only to discover that it was not being shown in 3D any more- much to the organisers chargin. I came along because the last time I went to the cinema was for The Dark Knight Rises and it looked like your stereotypical guy movie, action packed and full of artillery. And also because my flatmate insisted that it was 'awesome' on more than one occasion, I almost contempleted keeping a tally!

I was aware that it was a reboot of the Judge Dredd franchise and was not related story-wise to the 1995 film starring Rambo (Stallone), so I was optimistic as to what was in store. From what I have seen in reboots or remakes of past films is that they make it visually more staggering yet they include flaws like a weak storyline or what have you . In truth, in the past I havn't often put much though into films after seeing them, sometimes because its not in the group bigger then 2-3 so a discussion with multiple views can't arise.

Taking place within a Mega City in an oh-so-familair semi post apocalyptic future, the plot involves famed and feared Judge Dredd taking rookie judge Anderson on a field assignment in order for her to pass. The judges wield the authority of judge,jury and executioner, allowing them to condemn their targets on the spot. The major premise of this film is within a Mega Block skyscraper Peach Trees where the duo's routine job exculates into a lockdown of the tower. They must then fight their way up through 200 stories of armed gang members to eliminate their leader Ma-Ma and halt the prodcution and distribution of Slo-Mo, a new narcotic that is spreading throughout the Mega City. Cut off and with communications offline, the master and apprentice must engage the masses and bring judgement on those who would defy the law. IT'S JUDGEMENT TIME.

It would be impossible to talk about this without going back to the namesake; I havn't watch the 1995 film so I can't make a comparrison. But just by looking at him in the opening scene as he steps out after donning his signature armour you can tell he means business, Albiet the helm, badge and shoulderguards, he resembles a riot squad/special forces so it's clear he gets right in there- being a street Judge and all. His overall figure and armour is much more effective than Stallones, I mean look at the size of that bling! Don't get me wrong the eagle is a new design, but it would either weigh him down or it would jiggle too much and be a nuisence, and is that a codpiece??

The opening scene where he intercepts and judges a gang in a street chase pretty much defines how this guy rolls to newbies like me. However once he teams up with the telepathic Anderson its almost Ying/Yang. Dredd is an emotionless sentinel who serves only to enforce the law, his job is short and clean in his book:

Brake the law: Sentance them
Resistance: Use lethal force

Information required: Brutal interrogation

He shows no remorse or sympathy from behind that visor. In spite of that he is totally the kind of guy civillians would wnt to cower behind while he obliterates hostiles. Once they hit the streets Anderson is straight away identified as the humanity of the two, compassionate and thoughful. Initially she shows reluctance to carry out judgement, even those at her mercy. However she evolves and adapts at a remarkable rate as the film progresses. When they first meet there was a point where she 'looked inside of him' I assumed at later in the film she would ask about his background and emotionally compromise him, however this wasn't the case. It probably would have been a break for the film, redefining Dredd and showing he wasn't always the way he is then etc. Furthermore, it is mentioned that the Judges helmets disrupt her powers so that was kinda a relief.

City maps and tourist information must be a bitch!

The lifts must be a nightmare...

I didn't mind that the bulk of the film took part in Peach Trees, however one of the first shots of the film was a zoomed out view of Mega City 1, it would have been interesting to see more of this vast metropolis maybe. Furthermore, the whole plot of fighting up through a tower reminded me of the film The Raid, where a Special Ops team had to eradicate a gang holed up in there. However I have not seen that a nd reviewers who have seen both have confirmed with relief that the two films are not related storywise, the latter involving more martial arts and that.

The featured drug Slo-Mo lives up to its name: it slows the users perception of time to that of 1% of normal rate, so like living in slow motion of god knwos how long. This was a brilliant reason to use many slow motion scenes, many of them beautifual and just plain bloody, usually at the same time!
To give my view in a nutshell, this was a visually lush film, it's certainly gotten rated 18 for a reason, with the bloody carnage, anatomically correct shootings and flashing images of torture and worse. However it also captured the natural beauty too, I might be basing that solely on the bath water scene... In the intervals between gunfire the scenes feature the similarities ans difference between the two protagonists and how they eventually find themselves on the same ground. With his gruff voice and unchanging partial face expression, from what I have seen of Dredd, I think it lives up to the fans expectations.

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