Dredd [2012]

If you only see one desperate room-by-room survival fight through a massive office building filled with enemies, go see The Raid. If you see two, consider Dredd. There’s no doubt in my mind that if The Raid didn’t exist, or they hadn’t come out in such close sequence, this film would get another star on the IMDB from me. It was Hamish C’s film of the year, the year it came out. It justifiably gets a lot of love for largely dispensing with exposition, and for looking great – it’s just that The Raid does all that too, but better.

You can’t review a film by reviewing another film. Well, you can, but probably shouldn’t.

The obligatory plot summary is that in the dystopian world of the near-apocalyptic future, Judge (Jury, and Executioner) Dredd is a taciturn sort, tasked with undertaking the final field trial of a young woman who wants to be a Judge. They go to investigate a low-level seeming crime, which quickly spirals out of control. They fight their way up, down, and sideways through a building to cut out the cancerous cartel that controls it and destroy their produce “SloMo”. Perhaps I was alone in thinking that this was a shamefully under-used and under-explored concept. Let’s assume you’ve got a drug which accelerates your sense of time dramatically, wouldn’t that, couldn’t that, provide some tactical advantage in a fight against a determined invader to your realm? And they’d already got a psychic side-kick for Dredd to help him out in the climactic battle.

I guess essentially, for a scenario with these huge SF concepts available to it, it felt distinctly under-explored and under-thought.

I gave this 7/10 because it was very stylishly made, well acted and pacy. It didn’t get more because for me, it didn’t go deep enough into the world it’d created.

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