Friday, September 21, 2012

Dredd 3D Sticks To Its Guns, Its Big, Scary Guns

Director: Pete Travis

I was lucky enough to get free tickets to the New York City premiere of Dredd 3D. Something that never happens to me, I've gotten free screening tickets before but never a premiere. This was actually a really cool experience, even though I didn't get to meet any of the cast (Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, and Wood Harris were all in attendance) or the director or any of the celebrities sitting in the audience it was still really cool to just be there with them. Also did you know you get a free bag of popcorn and a free drink at these events, pretty cool.

But on to the movie, in the wave of comic book adaptations Dredd sticks out, it doesn't try to be anything else but what it is. It doesn't take things too seriously and stays true to the nature of the book it was adapted from. Now I personally haven't read any Judge Dredd, but I've heard how violent, dark, and brooding the book is while still having fun. I think the director Pete Travis (Vantage Point, 2008) understood this so much when he made this film. It's filled with one liners that actually get a bit of a laugh and violence that'll make you cringe yet you can't look away. Needless to say this isn't a kid's comic book movie, there's blood( lots of it), gore( also a lot), and cursing(a lot as well). Hell there's a lot of cursing, blood and gore but not enough to turn you away from it.

The cast, just like the director know exactly what kind of film they are making. Karl Urban pulls off a pretty impressive performance as Judge Dredd, but with a character who is somewhat one dimensional he didn't have much to do. Why I say his performance is impressive is because he had to do the same thing as Peter Weller as Robocop he could only use the lower half of his face to emit any kind of emotion, which isn't an east task. Yes, unlike the Stallone film from the 90's Dredd sticks to his comic book roots and not once does he take off his Judge's helmet. None of the Judges do actually one Judge does take off their helmet, and for two very good reasons. The character I'm speaking of is of course rookie Judge Anderson played by Olivia Thirlby. Reason one why would you ever want to cover up Olivia's beautiful face with a helmet the entire film and two which is a valid reason and is actually referenced upon in the film is that our rookie is indeed a psychic and the helmet would interfere with her abilities, makes sense to me. Another great actress but the characters aren't much to make anything of. But she does have some great moments with Urban's Dredd and even better moments with the main villain's top henchmen played by Wood Harris. Harris is a really good actor but yet again he's playing a "thug", he's surely able to play more well rounded characters and I seriously hope he doesn't get typecast in these roles. Either way his character (who's name I actually can't remember) has some funny yet sexually explicit moments in the film, don't worry he's a bad guy, and we all know what happens to bad guys in comic book movies. The main bad guy isn't even a guy this time around. Dredd has to take on the criminally insane Ma-Ma, played by Lena Heady (who you probably know from 300 and the fantasy series Game of Thrones), though you might not recognize her through the disgusting drug teeth and massive scar on her face. She's played the badass before in The Sarah Connor Chronicles as the Sarah Connor and in 300 as well but this time she plays a ruthless drug lord who doesn't care what she has to do to take care of these two Judges.

Now I personally am not a fan of 3D and probably have only see about 3 films in it, that's including this one. I don't really see what the big deal is. But this film actually may have changed my mind. I believe the director uses it to its full potential or at least I think so. He knows it's a gimmick and that's why it works so well. A main plot from the film derives from a manufactured drug called Slow-Mo which you can guess makes it feel like you're moving in slow motion when you're high off of it. As soon a character takes a hit in the film so do you, everything slows down and the blood and gore that I mentioned earlier comes right at you. Sure it's disgusting and even a bit silly but that's part of the fun of Dredd 3D. Of course there are other things coming at you bricks from being blown away by massive guns, shattering glass, and let us not forget the explosions. A 3D film is nothing without an explosion.

If my article comes off as sarcastic it actually isn't. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, I loved it actually. So I'm recommending you check out this film if you're looking for a fun film to watch and definitely see it in 3D. If you see it in 2D you're definitely missing out. But then again I'm not even sure if this film is showing in 2D, either way go check it out and have some fun with Dredd 3D.

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