DREDD ★★☆☆☆ Gruesomely gritty and viciously violent; Karl Urban’s Judge Dredd is the self-proclaimed law in a vividly effervescent picture, aesthetically alluring and vivaciously captivating. Dredd proficiently alternates between ruthless reality and the glorious fantasy of life lived at a reduced rate.
Teamed with telepathic rookie Judge Anderson, Dredd attempts to assess and arrest; however, surviving Ma-Ma’s maze of mayhem soon becomes the duo’s primary target. Faultlessly growling, scowling and grimacing his way through two-hundred floors of chaos and control; Urban’s Dredd, strikes fear and fury into the degenerates of Mega City One, as he delivers judgement in his quest for justice.
The contained environment of Peach Trees crime-filled vertical slum may limit the possibilities of each action sequence; however, these restrictions not only amplify the perils and problems facing the Judges of Mega City One, but, these locational constraints also elevate the imminent and forever-impending threat of danger and death, Dredd and Anderson have to face in their future society.
Director Pete Travis, effectively contrasts the dark and decaying realism of life by exquisitely interspersing moments of heightened pleasure and sensation; beautifully capturing the escapist essence of the drug named Slo-Mo.
However, the action on each floor is equally indistinguishable from the next and although writer, Alex Garland, may have successfully taken the Judge from graphic print to spectacular 3D on the big screen, the world and character, unfortunately, remain in the second-dimension. Dredd is the judge, jury and executioner; and although Urban’s performance is the epitome of super-cop and the essence of the Judge; Dredd still requires a human personality, complete with emotions for an audience to be able to fully engage with character.
Possibly, my expectations for Dredd were too high; perhaps he should have removed his helmet? The penalty Is not quite death; but then, who am I to Judge, Dredd?