Dredd Archive

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What is the #DayofDredd

If you found yourself on twitter today, the chances are good that you saw somebody using the #DayofDredd hashtag. Rest assured, this is neither a typo nor a lamentation of October 1st as a day of planetary ennui. Instead, it’s a call to action for a sequel to 2012’s cult-classic in the making, Dredd.

Anyone familiar with my website knows that Dredd instantly became one of my favourite movies when it was released. In doing everything it could to align itself with the Judge Joe Dredd comic strip from 2000 AD, Dredd gave fans of Mega City One’s top-cop the movie that they’ve been wanting ever since 1995’s Danny Cannon directed Judge Dredd took a steaming dump on the collective hopes of an entire fandom.

Despite the fact that Dredd garnered praise from both the critics, yours truly included, and the fans, also yours truly included, it didn’t do particularly well in the box office.

As of this blog post, Box Office Mojo reports Dredd’s lifetime grosses at ~$35 million. The Numbers (.com) pegs the figure at ~$40 million with DVD and Blu-Ray sales of ~$17 million.  With the movie costing in the neighbourhood of $50 million to produce, Dredd isn’t exactly what movie producers deem a financial success.

The rationales behind the movie’s underperformance are various and sundry. Some people blame a poor marketing campaign. Others are apt to blame the fact that Dredd had 3D foisted upon it for the lack of audience draw. The elephant in the room of the blame game is, of course, Captain Codpiece.

 

What a shame to think that people didn’t go see Dredd because they were burned on Judge Dredd. Imagine what would have happened if people invoked that logic and avoided The Avengers because of Ang Lee’s Hulk.

Perhaps hoping for a Dredd sequel (or a Judge Anderson movie) is nothing more than a pipe dream. Even if the Dredd-heads of the world got #DayofDredd trending for an entire day, worldwide, it probably wouldn’t be enough to make a second film worth the potential financial risk. Be that as it may, there’s no reason not to watch Dredd if you fancy yourself a person who would like to see a post-apocalyptic version of Die Hard.

Still on the fence?

How would you feel about watching a movie where the female lead is a fully realized character and not some tedious sort of sex kitten meant to be an object of male power fantasy?

Not good enough?

Multiply everything I just said times two because the film’s antagonist meets all of the above criteria.

More?

This script, sets, and directing create a world that is genuinely bleak but still engaging. Judge Joe Dredd laughs in the face of Panem and your other barely-feasible, milquetoast dystopias.

And if all that isn’t enough for you, then you’re probably dead inside.

#dayofdredd may not get us a sequel, but if nothing else it’s a great way to spread the world about one of the best sci-fi movies of the last few years.


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Post #400 and The Best of 2012

400 posts. Isn’t that something? It seems like only two and a half years ago I was drinking scotch and thinking, “I should start a review website. Nobody in the history of the internet has ever done one of those before.”

Of course, I couldn’t have done it on my own. Along the way I’ve had the pleasure of hosting guest posts from Matt Moore, Rollen Lee, K.W. Ramsey, and Matt Leaver. During that time we must have been doing something right because this year’s numbers doubled to roughly 5500 unique visitors per month. Granted those aren’t Scalzi or Wheaton numbers, but whatever, I’ll get there, and then Middle Earth shall feel my wrath…or there will be cake – either or, really.

So given the auspicious number of this post, and the fact that I’m on vacation starting next week, today seems an ideal time to do my best in genre of 2012.

Best Big Budget Video Game

XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis Games

Rebooting Julian Gollop’s classic 1994 turn based strategy game, X-Com: UFO Defence was a gutsy move on the part of Firaxis and 2K Games. On the one hand, anybody old enough to remember the source material is no longer part of the gaming industry’s target audience. Moreover, nobody makes turn based strategy games in a market dominated by first/third person shooters and sports titles. Yet Firaxis managed to pull it off. They streamlined classic X-Com’s clunky features, maintained the suspense and often punishing difficulty, and ultimately delivered an experience which pairs action with player driven narrative.

Best Indie Game

FTL, Subset Games

FTL is a rogue-like starship simulator. Similar to XCOM, FTL features persistent consequences and permanent death. Unlike XCOM, a single game of FTL only takes about two hours from start to finish. During that time players will command a starship on a mission to save the Federation from a looming rebellion. FTL puts a premium on resource management and strategy driven starship combat. Though the game’s objective always remains the same, no two playthroughs will ever be the same. Much of this replay factor can be attributed to FTL’s procedurally generated galaxy, variety of ships to command, and a huge pool of random events. Simple, elegant, and challenging in extremis FTL is not a title to be missed.

Best Novel

Rasputin’s Bastards, David Nickle

I’m almost certain the book isn’t an attempt on the part of ChiZine Publications and author David Nickle to subconsciously program an army of sleeper agents. That said, there are times when Rasputin’s Bastards feels like a twenty-first century answer to Catch-22. Both books are complex, revel in asynchronous storytelling, and left this reader eager to reread if only to mine for details, subtexts, and plot threads missed on a first read through. The novel also boasts a moral ambiguity in its characters which defies an easy D&D style alignment. Despite their various plans and machinations, some of which still don’t quite make sense to me, a reader can walk away from the book with a real sense of empathy for all the players involved. The Cold War might have been a lot of things, but before David Nickle’s treatment I don’t know if it has ever been quite so metaphysical.

Best Movie

Dredd

Yeah that’s right, I said Dredd. The Avengers has got enough people kissing its billion dollar ass. Dredd was the movie that nobody, save for dedicated weirdoes like yours truly, ever wanted. Despite utterly under performing at the box office, Dredd remains an accessible action movie after the hard “R” rated fashion of Die Hard. It skillfully brings an uninitiated viewer into the entropy of Mega City One, while remaining true enough to the source material to appease a veteran audience. As ever with Judge Joe Dredd, the writing remains a serious study on urban crime and civil liberties as seen through a set of extraordinary circumstances. Karl Urban as Dredd offers a unique sort of black comedy amid the action. Lena Headey delivers a brilliant performance as a cold calculating drug lord. While one special effect does get used a bit much, viewers can take solace in the fact that Dredd doesn’t spend fifteen minutes fixing an engine.

Best TV

NB: Live action genre TV sucked the devil’s ass in 2012. It should be telling that my only candidates for this category were animated series.

TRON: Uprising

Would that the story of TRON: Uprising was told in TRON: Legacy fans might have got the sequel they deserved. Despite the Disney branding, Uprising frames the back story of Legacy as a narrative of insurgency within the Grid. It’s poignant in ways that The Clone Wars can be when exploring stories involving the clone troopers and not their Jedi generals. At some point, we know Tron, voiced magnificently by Bruce Boxleitner, is going to end up as Rinzler, CLU’s mindless growling stooge. This foreknowledge makes his struggle against General Tessler, voiced with style by Lance Henriksen, and his search for redemption in training Beck (Elijah Wood) as the new Tron all the more bitter sweet. Meanwhile the writers are free to derezz and destroy to their heart’s content as the series’ cast, save for Tron, are external to the world of Legacy.

Best Web Series

Job Hunters

This is another tough call. Husbands remains one of the funniest things on the internet. Though I only recently discovered Clutch, it’s quickly become one of the most powerful things I’ve seen online. But where those shows entered their second season in 2012, Job Hunters debuted this year. I didn’t know what to expect in a series which described itself as a “dystopian roommate comedy”. Truth be told, I was bracing for terrible. Instead, I saw a series which tapped into the frustration of college graduates entering an outsourced and depressed job market. The series takes job hunting quite literally where grads become gladiators who fight for a position with the corporations of the world. Drawing inspiration from Rollerball as much as it does The Hunger Games, Job Hunters is looks great, sounds as good as any mainstream production, and uses both comedy and violence to explore a social phenomenon.

There we have it, my best of 2012 in the 400th post.

My deepest thanks to everybody who continues to read and support this website. Your comments, facebook likes, and retweets are as good as gold to me. Until the day when somebody starts paying me to write for a living, approbation and kudos are my bread and butter.

So feel free to follow me on twitter by clicking the link at the top of this page and/or hitting like on the Page of Reviews’ facebook page.


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Why is Dredd 3D not Making Money?

Dredd 3D, which henceforth shall simply be known as Dredd, is a good movie. I’ve said it, fellow writer and critic K.W. Ramsey has said it, and with an aggregated score of 77% on Rotten Tomatoes a lot of other critics have said it. As both a comic book adaptation and an action movie, Dredd gets the job done. Why then is it such a dismal box office failure?

Before I attempt to answer that question, let me put “failure” into context.

Dredd was produced with a 50 million dollar budget. Granted, 50 million is more than most of us will ever see in our lives, but it’s downright humble compared to something like The Expendables 2 and its 100 million dollar price tag. In its opening weekend, Dredd brought in 6.2 million dollars in North American box office returns, putting it in sixth place behind the likes of End of Watch, House at the End of the Street, and Trouble With the Curve. I guess Clint Eastwood really can get away with anything.

Since its debut, Dredd has continued to under perform; its three week total stands at approximately 12.7 million dollars. So what’s gone wrong?

Impossible Nomenclature

There is nothing good about naming a movie Dredd 3D.

Forgive me for generalizing, but until I’m told otherwise I’ll continue assuming most people cringe when they hear a movie is going to be in 3D. For my time the 3D gimmick takes a movie I want to see and holds a knife to its throat, demanding an increased ticket price in exchange for the movie’s release. I can not think of a single cinematic experience where I’ve said, “Holy shit, the 3D was worth wearing those immersion disrupting glasses and an after the fact headache.” No, not even Avatar.

Now pair a potential audience’s 3D wince with a character name which has yet to achieve pop culture ubiquity in North America. Among said audience I expect the word Dredd tracks to three possible meanings: a misspelling of dread, the name of a character in a bad 90s sci-fi movie, or a beloved 2000 AD comic strip character. And while those who associate Dredd with the latter definition constitute your “shut up and take my money” crowd, I somehow doubt they represent a significant percentage of the movie going audience.

For the non-Dredd fan, the only take away messages in the title are force fed 3D and a reference to some terrible movie from long ago.

Honesty to Canon Necessitating a Hard “R” Rating

Mega City One, Judge Joe Dredd’s stomping grounds, is a nightmare of urban sprawl set amid the ruins of a nuclear holocaust. MegOne is a study in entropy and decay where the Judges, the personification of law and order within the city, are tasked with the impossible mission of forestalling the end of civilization. In short, it’s an ugly world filled with terrible people. Sufficed to say portraying the day-to-day grind of MegOne on the big screen is problematic.

Watering down the violence, crime, corruption, and drug use of MegOne leads to a disingenuous and cartoony movie a la Judge Dredd. Keeping the setting and characters true to Canon means you’re making a movie that caters only to adult audiences. As a critic, I’ll take a movie that is honest to its vision over the contrivances of “universal appeal” any day. But if Hotel Transylvania’s 76 million in two weeks prove anything it’s that the “SSCCATAGAPP” crowd is not a huge box office draw.

From The Simpsons season 15 episode "Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of Talent but No Big Names

Karl Urban personifies “that guy” as an actor. Urban was “that guy” in Lord of the Rings. He was also “that guy” in Chronicles of Riddick and Doom. It wasn’t until 2009’s Star Trek that Urban transformed from “that guy” into himself. Granted he’s always done well as “that guy”, usually better than he had any business doing given some of the material he had to work with. But as box office draws go, there are more famous leading men than Karl Urban.

Then there’s Lena Headey. Lena Headey is a fantastic actress. Terminator: TSS may have lost its way as a series, but Headey gave Linda Hamilton a run for her money as Sarah Connor. In Game of Thrones, Headey is sublime as Cersei Lannister. In fact, I count it as an injustice that she has yet to receive an Emmy nod for her role. Those who know Headey’s work know that she writes the book on strong female characters, Dredd’s prostitute turned drug lord MaMa among them. Yet outside of certain genre circles Headey’s name recognition does not measure up to her acting chops.

Questionable Advertising

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does the above billboard tell you about Dredd? While the accurate graffitti rendering of a Street Judge’s helmet is enough to get me and the rest of the “shut up and take my money” crowd into theatres, I don’t know about its appeal outside of that niche.

Consider now one of the more “conventional Dredd” billboards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Again, if I didn’t know what the eagle shield, helmet, and pistol symbolized, I don’t know what sort of message I would take from this piece of advertising. I expect I would find it confusing. Why does the tagline say “Judgement is Coming” when this guy looks like Mad Max? Is this an action movie? Is it a science fiction movie? Why is he wearing that silly hat? Who is in this movie?

This said, the feature trailer for Dredd answers most of the questions that the billboard/poster art might evoke.

 

Granted the future looks a little too contemporary in places, but at least a viewer walks away from the trailer with some level of insight into Dredd’s narrative. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people only see the two minute trailer if they go looking for it on the internet. Such an action suggests some level of pre-existing awareness or perhaps even interest in the film.  When we turn to the thirty second Dredd TV spot, the story of Dredd seems somewhat less impressive.

 

Remember earlier when I said Dredd’s name could evoke three likely reactions? Compare Dredd’s TV spot to one from 1995’s Judge Dredd.

 

Even though the final product of Dredd is so far from Judge Dredd that making a comparison between the two is laughable, both thirty second trailers appear to be cut from the same block of cheap one-liner infused schlock. If I had seen the 30 second Dredd trailer before watching the feature trailer, I too would have thought Dredd a monumental waste of time.

The Bottom Line

Dredd is the sort of movie that would make it very easy to get cynical about the future of movies not aimed at mewling babies and their sleep deprived parents. Though Judge Joe Dredd has a huge fan following, Dredd is no mere work of fan service. It is the kind of action movie that would have fit in twenty years ago with the likes of Total Recall and Robocop. Perhaps then the days of non-family friendly action movies are behind us, and Dredd is the genre’s death rattle. Sure there’s The Expendables, but isn’t that just the apotheosis of bad dialogue, recycled plots, and action stars whose bread and butter movies no longer fit into the current marketing model? Remember what happened to franchised horror movies after Scream? Now movie horror generally comes in one of two flavours, torture porn a la Saw or Blair Witch style found footage movies. Once a cinematic approach gets to the point of self satire, it either dies or evolves.

Yet I still hold out hope that Dredd is the evolution rather than the swan song. Why? Two words: Pitch Black. Even though The Chronicles of Riddick is by most accounts a terrible movie, Pitch Black’s rise to cult status, and subsequent DVD sales, made a sequel viable. Critical acclaim + time = vindication for a movie that under performed in theatres. If Dredd does well in DVD and digital sales, and Karl Urban and Lena Headey’s stars continue to rise, we may just get a return visit to Mega City One.

NB: All box office figures via Box Office Mojo


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Movie Review: Dredd 3D

I’m not sure what post-modern film neologism I should use in framing Dredd 3D – which for the rest of this review shall simply be known as Dredd. Discussing Dredd in terms of a reboot invites a comparison to 1995’s Judge Dredd, which may further imply some level of actual legitimacy to the aforementioned movie. The often used term “reimagining” doesn’t work either as the ’95 story was so utterly divorced from 2000AD’s comics as to make Stallone’s movie the reimagined version of Mega City One and Judge Joe Dredd. Instead I’m going to call Dredd a “Hulking” of Judge Dredd. Hulking, which I think I just made up, draws its name from the Ang Lee directed Hulk and the Louis Leterrier directed The Incredible Hulk. Therein two movies emerge from the same mythology, but the latter shows complete contempt for the former in completely ignoring all aspects of its story telling. This results in the Hulked film being much better than the predecessor.

Then again, what isn’t better than this?

 

How then does Dredd take us to a place where we can forget about Mr. I am the Law? Like so: Dredd is what would happen if Training Day had a one night stand with Die Hard. Only Die Hard ended up getting pregnant, so it gave the infant Dredd up for adoption. That’s when surrogate parents Total Recall (the good one) and Robocop came along and took Dredd as their own. The resulting movie is as much a study in urban entropy, as it is a glorious blood bath which breaks down would-be heroes and turns them into pragmatic anti-heroes.

As a street judge, the embodiment of police and judicial power, Dredd (Karl Urban) knows that he can’t make things better in Mega City One. Dredd goes so far as to explain this to rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) as he prepares to take her out on her training day. Despite the resources and near absolute power of the Judges, Dredd explains they can only respond to 6% of the reported crimes in MegOne. Between this well placed exposition and a few key scenes of poverty and privation Dredd builds a believable atmosphere of overcrowding and wide spread unemployment. In fairness, I think it misses the mark on the actual aesthetic of Mega City One. Shots of the city imply space between buildings and breathing room that simply isn’t there in the comics. Granted, this change is nothing a newcomer to the mythos would notice, nor is it so heretical to the source material as to put off established fans. Yet it is noticeable.

Through luck, or perhaps Judge Anderson’s psychic intuition, Dredd and Anderson end up at the Peach Trees block, a kilometer high apartment building that serves as the setting for most of the narrative. Unbeknown to the Judges, Peach Trees has become the distribution and manufacturing point for a new designer drug called “Slo-mo”, which does exactly what it the name suggests. Where I expected Slo-mo to turn its users into cranked up versions of Neo a la The Matrix, it instead lets junkies slip into the colour palette shifted beauty which exists between seconds. For the audience, the Slo-Mo effect is alternately beautiful and distracting.

When Dredd and Anderson break up a drug den, the juxtaposition of life at 1/100th the normal speed and the frantic pace of urban combat is nothing short of fantastic. It accentuates the violent nature of life in MegOne as well as the absolute power the Judges must apply to stave off the inevitable collapse of society. But when the perspective shifts to follow characters who are high for the sake of being high, the Slo-mo effect gets tiring. Things like post-production shimmer effects on Slo-mo’d shards of glass and viscera end up looking artificial and cheap, probably due to the waste of time and resources that is modern 3D.

As for the remainder of the story, it is very much in the tradition of Die Hard, except inverse. When the prostitute turned gangster Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) seizes control of Peach Trees and locks down the block with Dredd and Anderson inside, they have to fight their way to the top floor to restore order and judge Ma-Ma. And in that mission, all of the principle players nail their roles.

Though Karl Urban has the fewest lines of dialogue, he executes perfectly as the Law. Without the benefit of facial expressions north of his lips, Urban strikes the right balance of dead pan, matter of fact, and near indifference to the events unfolding around him. On that point, no small amount of credit is due to writer Alex Garland and director Pete Travis for giving Mr. Urban all the tools he needed to become Judge Joe Dredd.

Lena Headey’s portrayal of Ma-Ma makes Cersei Lannister look like a declawed domestic house cat by comparison. Ma-Ma is vicious, sadistic, and utterly without mercy. What’s fantastic is that so much of her cruelty comes through non-verbal cues.

Not to be out done by the others, Oliva Thirlby manages to hold her own in taking Judge Anderson from a C- cadet to a proficient street judge. Anderson is perhaps my favourite character in the film if only because it would have been so easy to take her rookie idealism and turn it into a farce of weakness. Instead, Anderson proves herself as strong as Dredd in her willingness to pull the trigger. If we stop to think about the broader implications of Anderson using her psychic abilities to torture information out of a perp, granted they had already found him guilty of attempted murder of a Judge, we can make case for Anderson being even more dedicated to the Law than Dredd. Dredd sentences and executes as the situation dictates, but Anderson violates the very essence of an individual as a matter of course.

I have only one significant point of contention with the script. As if to fill in a third act that would have been too short on its own, Dredd introduces a few corrupt Judges to the mix. And while Judges do go bad from time to time, the idea that four Judges would just sell themselves for money seemed a little implausible. Again, if I wasn’t somebody who enjoyed how MegOne could break a Judge in the comics, I likely wouldn’t have a problem with this appropriation of a time tested “cop movie” trope. Either way, it speaks to a bit of a troublesome plot slowdown in what is otherwise a well paced production.

In the final assessment, Dredd does a lot of things right, even if it stumbles a little along the way. From a distance, the aesthetic of Mega City One is a little too close to home. MegOne isn’t contemporary Toronto or New York with a bit more traffic. But what Dredd misses on the essential late 21st / early 22nd century hell hole look, it more than makes up for in tone. Dredd is a brutal story of an anti-hero in a decaying world. As such, Dredd ignores a lot of action movie gimmicks. The good guys shoot first. The bad guys shoot straight, well straighter than most. It is subtle political commentary paired with a blood bath in the finest tradition of Paul Verhoeven. For fans of the comic strip, and newcomers intent on discovering one of the bleakest visions of the future, Dredd is the movie we should have got fifteen years ago.

Dredd 3D

Directed by: Pete Travis

Starring: Karl Urban, Lena Headey, and Olivia Thirlby


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Dredd Trailer and Breakdown

The Theatrical Poster for Dredd

A bit of disclosure before I talk about the Dredd trailer. I saw Judge Dredd in theatres back in 1995. At the time I was fourteen years old, and I loved it. I could not understand why my father thought it was a giant turd of a movie. I suppose it had something to do with his having read a few 2000AD comic strips where I had not. Fast forward to the aftermath of my 26th birthday party wherein a drunken Shaftoe demanded to watch the Judge Dredd DVD he got as a joke present. On that day I came to understand the complete and utter contempt that Joe Dredd’s first screen appearance held for the source material.

Therein lay the challenge for director Pete Travis and his new Dredd movie. I can talk about disrespect for the source material and Stallone’s diva-ish demands not to be stuck under a helmet for ninety minutes until second coming of Bruce Campbell, but that’s going to do nothing to disassociate the name “Judge Joe Dredd” with this monstrosity. For eighteen years, this has been how popular culture and popular memory have crafted Judge Dredd. Bearing that in mind, the Dredd trailer had, in my mind, only one objective: to show me, and anybody else who might enjoy a science fiction movie, that Dredd is as far from Judge Dredd as can be. Let’s take a watch.

 

Initial impression: Training Day meets Die Hard set in Mega City One.

The first thing to note is the rating on the film: “R” instead of “PG-13”. That in of itself should be some indication that Lionsgate is going to treat this movie with the seriousness that the source material always offered its audience. Next is the vision of Mega City One. Instead of something that looks like a Warner Brothers farce of Blade Runner’s Los Angles, this city has a real dystopian feel about it. The block towers are surrounded by slums. Ramshackle ground vehicles, rather than the obligatory flying cars of the future, populate the trailer.

Then comes the hook. There are no megalomaniacs out to conquer the world. Nor do we see crooked judges tenting their fingers like Mr. Burns. Instead, we are presented with a drug war, the perfect compliment for a cop story. The foe: a drug queen called MaMa played by Lena Headey. Her product: Slo-Mo, a drug that makes the user perceive events at 1% of life’s normal speed. I’m going to give the story the benefit of the doubt and assume that the drug only slows perception not actions. Thus, every user stands to become Neo.

So we’re fifty-nine seconds into the Dredd trailer and it is already better than the first fifty-nine minutes of Judge Dredd.

Karl Urban’s narration also helps remind the audience that this is not Judge Dredd. In that film, Mega City One was a big-ish city of fifty million people. This Mega City One is clearly the one from the comics, stretching from the East Coast of Canada down to the Carolinas and as for West as the Mississippi. Pairing MC1’s population of eight hundred million with scenes of urban unrest establishes the lawless reality of this post-apocalyptic world. This world is grim and bleak, but not so over the top that it starts alienating potential viewers.

Meanwhile the trailer hints at a story that targets the action movie crowd as a whole, not just a handful of genre aficionados. Dredd is paired with rookie Judge Anderson on her training day when MaMa takes over her block tower. All of the Slo-Mo production is focused in that block, so if the judges can take it out, they remove the only source of the drug. Instead of fighting killer cyborgs, robots, and clones, Joe Dredd is going to become the inverse John McClane, working his way up a sky scraper to take out terrorists and drug dealers.

Sidebar: I didn’t think it possible to cook up a character for Lena Headey who would be more chill inducing than Cersei Lannister. Freudians around the world are going to have a field day with this one.

What are we left with at the end of this trailer? Judge Dredd is a motorcycle cop, not a runway model for fetish wear. Mega City One is a horrible place populated by terrible people where the street judge system is a necessity rather than some picayune attempt to be totalitarian. The antagonist is played by one of the most fantastic actresses of the last ten years, who looks to be in fine form for this picture. Assuming the trailer is honest to the final product, Dredd is going to be a gritty cop movie first and a science fiction story second. Karl Urban is clearly doing everything he can to dislodge the brick of Camembert that Stallone shoved up Dredd’s ass back in the 90s; he even manages to deliver Dredd’s iconic “I am the law” with all the seriousness that it deserves.

Am I going to go see this? Allow me to answer that in my best Judge Dredd voice, “What do you think, creep?” I won’t say that Dredd looks like the smartest movie out there. However, the trailer suggests something that has the chops to regenerate a much maligned character. Simultaneously, the environment of Mega City One could prove an equally impressive rendering of a now classic dystopian world.

Let’s just hope there is an option to watch it without the 3D gimmickry.