I’ve kind of always wanted to write dialogue for a movie like Dredd 3D. I think it would be fun. No one expects much from you, and the objective is to be as bad ass and cheesy as humanly possible. Here’s some lines I thought up and wrote down before I saw the movie that I thought would end up actually being in there:
“The prosecution would like to make its opening statement… [shoots 30 guys]”
“The defense rests… IN PEACE… [shoots guy]”
“[ties electrical cord around guys neck, throws him off balcony] Talk about a hung jury…”
“[throws grenade into room, walks in afterwards to see all the dead bodies] Looks like a case of Habeas CORPSEs”
“Do you plead guilty? No…? Well, you certainly BLEED guilty [stabs guy]”
“I’d like to introduce a surprise witness… …MY GUN… [shoots guy]”
“Your life is… OVERRULED… [bazookas guy]”
“I strike that your head be removed from the record… [samurai swords a guy’s head off]”
“I OBJECT… TO YOU BREATHING… [chokes a guy out]”
“Raise your right hand and state your name for your TOMBSTONE… [shoots guy]”
But Dredd 3D sadly didn’t end up having many courtroom cheeseball lines. He did say “The defense rests…” before killing someone, but he didn’t say “IN PEACE”. Would have been better with “IN PEACE”, just sayin… I guess that’s why guys like me don’t get to write movies.
In all seriousness, Dredd 3D was actually a great departure from the cheesiness of the Stallone version of the past. It was gritty, it was super violent, and it was bad ass. It earned the R-rating. I thought it was pretty good.
Set in the future, where all of America has consolidated into a place called Mega City One, which is a stretch of mega buildings from Philadelphia to New York (or something like that), crime is mega inevitable. Mega criminals are capable of taking over entire mega apartment complexes and commit mega crimes. Judges are the only justice left in the city. They are like cops, but they have free reign to rule criminals guilty of death and kill them on the spot. Or they get locked away in something called The Iso Cubes, which they never actually show in the movie. The newest drug on the street is possibly the most cinematic drug they could ever think of, “Slo-Mo”. One puff of the black goo out of an asthma inhaler, and everything becomes sparkly and in slow motion. Judge Dredd is taking a rookie out on her first day evaluation, and a routine murder inspection at an apartment building run by a drug lord named Mama ends up with the Judges being put on lock down for trying to arrest one of Mama’s higher-ups. That was the first 10 minutes of the movie. The next 80 minutes consist of Dredd messing people up.
It’s very reminiscent of The Raid: Redemption, because once the main conflict comes into play; it pretty much is exactly like The Raid: Redemption. A super cop climbing an apartment building looking for a crime lord. I loved The Raid, so I didn’t mind watching it again, but this time with more future weapons.
Karl Urban is good as the film’s hero, even if all he provides is an awesome frown (you never see his eyes the whole movie). He does provide some good comedic timing on occasion as well. Olivia Thirlby does an ample job as the rookie Judge. She has mind-reading abilities, which I thought was a dumb idea for this movie, but I ended up not really caring about it that much in the end. More so, it didn’t end up hurting the movie. Lena Headey (who also plays Cersei, the second most hated Lannister on Game of Thrones) is really good as Mama, the film’s villain. Everyone else did a really good job laying down on the ground pretending to be dead.
What puts this slightly above other films like it, is its good cinematography and straightforward brutalness. At a relatively quick 90 minutes, it doesn’t stray too far from the main conflict very often (if ever?), and it’s very direct in what the film is trying to be. It’s a B-Movie, but it’s about as well executed of a violent B-Movie as you can get. The action doesn’t have any shaky cam, and the director seemed content on showing how the environment (and characters’ relation to it) actually impacts the action (FOR A CHANGE).
I saw it in 3D, and during the Slo-Mo drug trip sequences (there are several), I thought not only were the visuals freaking awesome, but the 3D was actually kind of good as well. HOWEVER, in the 90% of the movie that wasn’t a drug trip, the 3D was absolutely terrible. Super flat. Overall, the 3D probably isn’t worth it.
Look, Dredd 3D isn’t the greatest movie ever. But it’s a pretty damn good action movie. At NO point was I ever bored. It’s non-stop entertainment. If you had told me several months ago that I would be seeing a new Paul Thomas Anderson movie and a remake of Judge Dredd in the same weekend, and you said that I’d like the LATTER more… I’d have laughed right in your face.
But… Well… Here we are…
8 out of 10