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The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One - a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called "Judges" who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge - a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of "Slo-Mo" experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed. During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson, a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture - a 200 storey vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan's inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound's ... Written by
The Peach Tree block is named after a restaurant in Shrewsbury, the place where screenwriter Alex Garland and Judge Dredd creator John Wagner first met to discuss the film. See more »
When Ma-Ma seals Level 76, a gate separates Anderson and the prisoner from Dredd. In the next shot they are seen all trapped together. See more »
America is an irradiated wasteland. Within it lies a city. Outside the boundary walls, a desert. A cursed earth. Inside the walls, a cursed city, stretching from Boston to Washington D.C. An unbroken concrete landscape. 800 million people living in the ruin of the old world and the mega structures of the new one. Mega blocks. Mega highways. Mega City One. Convulsing. Choking. Breaking under its own weight. Citizens in fear of the street. The gun. The gang. Only one thing fighting ...
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Having feverishly waited in anticipation (skulking around IMDb, snapping at each morsel with fanboy delight) it was a joy to finally sit down in the auditorium; with Judge Dredd badge pinned humorously to my DK 'Bedtime For Democracy' T-shirt (chortle).
The film starts with some spoken exposition, although where there was once James Earl Jones, we now have Urban. Establishing scenes of chaos evoke familiarity, as Mega-City One channels more current, turbulent times. Herein we are thrust into the Iron Lawman's world, and he wastes no time in dispensing justice most radical.
Olivia Thirlby is introduced as Anderson, the rookie assigned to Dredd for assessment. She is played as Dredd's emotive foil (much like the comics). Whereas in '95, William Wisher moaned that " if I couldn't care about him (Dredd), how could I hope to convince anyone else to?"--Bunk line of thinking, creep!--here we circumnavigate that with Anderson's character arc. Dredd is a hard-assed, business-as-usual guy, with the voice to match. Only rarely did his dialogue verge on the gorgonzola.
The film is an unashamed, stripped back actioner with cinematography and music elevating it far above genre requirements. Think 'Drive', with the electronic score and city shots, but scorched of gloss. DREDD is tough and that's reflected in the architecture, the uniform, and the hardware. The judges rightfully look intimidating and brutal, and the closer-quartered combat, I felt, emphasised this. I also enjoyed the wacky array of citizens, a killer 2000AD touch.
I've ran right of steam now, but overall, great film and look forward to watching it again. The film is a straight up 8, but warrants an IMDb 10 out of principle.
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