Movie Review: Dredd (2012)

Posted: July 5, 2013 in Drama


It is post-apocalyptic America, there are megacities, where gleaming new buildings compete with urban blight.  Crime, drugs and violence are rampant.  Judges have been established to maintain order in the never-ending chaos.  One such judge is called Dredd. (Karl Urban)  Outfitted with body armor from head to toe and a gun the size of Donald Trump’s ego, Dredd aims to clean up the messy post-apocalyptic America.  He is given a new partner, named Anderson (Olivia  Thirlby) who has failed her judges exam, but has psychic abilities, so Dredd agrees to bring her along as a partner.  Dredd is assigned to respond to a triple homicide in the Peach Trees Block, the drug kingpin Ma-ma (Lena Headly) controls the Peach trees with a combination of intimidation and a new drug called Slo-Mo.  The judge and Anderson pick up one of Ma-ma’s lieutenants named Kay (Wood Harris) in their search for Ma-Ma.  Kay is needed to testify to the three homicides. Do Dredd and Anderson find Ma-Ma?  Does Anderson pass her first assignment according to Dredd?

Dredd is a remake of the 1995 movie Judge Dredd, with Sylvester Stallone, a movie so bad I wouldn’t watch it on a dare.  Hollywood thinks that if enough years pass, they can recycle crap and turn it into spun gold.  They are wrong This is violence porn, for teenagers or those with teenaged minds who get off on filth like this, waves and waves of violence, so repetitive and unnecessary that it becomes mind numbing.  The movie might be set in the future, but the old stereotypes remain,  white women are still supposed to be afraid of black men so you better carry big guns women, or something bad will happen to you.  This movie must have been written by a member of the National Rifle Association, literally everyone was packin’ men, women children.  I guess instant background checks went bye bye during the apocalypse.  Every once in a while Hollywood makes a movie to cater to the gun nuts, this is one of those movies, just endless shooting and killing and blood everywhere.  These movies have already been made, and much better than this cesspool.  The Terminator series and even Robocop are much better, but Hollywood insists on resuscitating this garbage.  Leave well enough alone.

The acting is wooden.  Karl Urban tries his best Clint Eastwood meets Christian Bale tone of voice, but it does not work, in fact it fails badly. Lena Headly is about as menacing as Cindy Crawford with a cute little scar done with bad makeup.  I thought it was interesting that a woman was a drug kingpin, then I heard she was an ex-prostitute, and I thought here we go again, Hollywood, making all women prostitutes.  Olivia Thirlby is supposed to be the teenage boy’s fantasy in this movie, blonde hair packed in some kind of leather outfit, fantasized naked by the black man, forget the fantasy, her acting was terrible.

Alex Garland wrote this steaming pile of…words.  He’s been writing for tv series like Batman (the cartoon) and for video games he did write 28 Days Later, which was also a violent mess if I remember correctly.  Video games, Batman cartoons, and now Dredd, what sterling resume you have Mr. Garland. The director was Pete Travis, who wasn’t doing his job either.  I kept checking the time on the movie, and the time passed very slowly.  90 minutes seemed much longer.

Dredd. Dreadful.


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