There have been more than a couple movies in the last year or so that have deserved far more attention than they received mainly due to not having a big time, bankable movie star on the marquee or the story was a little too out there for main stream audiences. Dredd is unfortunately going to be leading the charge for this category as it is getting next to no action at the box office while blowing away the audiences that have ventured in to see this 3D action spectacle.
Karl Urban plays the title character that Sylvester Stallone once portrayed in a much campier 1990's adaptation of a highly popular graphic novel. Dredd is one of many law enforcement officers that attempt to maintain order in a futuristic mega city that is nearly overrun with criminal activity. Each of these officers of the law have been given the power and authority of judge, jury, and executioner so as to expedite the process in to one decisive step.
From the beginning of the movie, it is obvious that Dredd is very good at what he does and criminals rarely stand a chance against him whether in a high speed chase, a shoot out, or a hostage standoff. In his world there is no room for negotiation under any circumstances. As the man returns to the Hall of Justice, he is given the task of assessing the ability of one Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie judge with psychic abilities which are what has given this otherwise extremely ordinary trainee a shot at advancement.
For their first assignment, the duo heads to the Peach Trees high rise tower where a triple homicide has been reported. After arriving on the scene, it quickly becomes apparent that this will be no ordinary investigation as they discover how this residential complex has been turned in to an operational hub for the sale and distribution of a highly successful and appropriately named drug called Slo-Mo.
The person in charge of the whole operation is a woman named Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) who will go to any length to keep her business running, even if it means trapping and killing two Judges to make it happen. What she didn't expect was having her target literally shoot, pummel, blow up, and set fire to anything and everything thrown at them on their way to putting an end to her reign of terror.
One of the first things that made me very happy while watching this movie is how there is very little time wasted with introducing and getting to know all the different characters. Each of them is clearly defined almost from the moment you see them on screen and you have a very clear idea of what they are all about. The story also sets up nicely for what will be a fairly obvious run through the sci-fi and action movie genres, but it is so well done you could care less if something seems a little too familiar or predictable.
The point of this movie is in your face action and big time special effects that are breathtakingly enhanced by filming it all in 3D rather than post converting. This movie is an absolute perfect fit for the technology and especially during the moments when director Pete Travis is showing the audience what its like to be under the effects of the Slo-Mo drug. This is truly one of those movies that you do not want to wait to come out on video. Go see this in 3D at a movie theater as soon as you possibly can.