I thought there were more hard-core Judge Dredd fans out there who would flock to any film adaptation; no matter how flawed, as long as Sylvester Stallone was not involved. But I was wrong. Dredd 3D seems to have come and gone with little fanfare. I can’t believe I just said fanfare.
Dredd 3D was awesome. Yes, it was still a departure from the 2000 A.D. Comics. That shouldn’t stop you from giving it a chance. It’s a fun movie even if it’s not a literal translation. Sometimes what works in print just doesn’t translate to the screen. For example costume and wardrobe design was really good this time around. The Judges’ gear looked more like a S.W.A.T team’s kit and less like the often outlandish gear depicted in the comics. If the film were 100% true to the comic we would be right back to leotards, giant shoulder guard eagles, and possibly even thigh-high bright green boots. That’s not very far from the Sylvester Stallone “Judge Dredd”.
Karl Urban delivered a very dry and almost soulless Judge Dredd which is expected but perhaps overdone to comedic result. Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) offers a different take on Psi-Judge Anderson but it works on some kind of “girl interrupted” level. All I can say about Ma-Ma is that Lena Headey should play a villain more often because her go as Sarah Connor was a fail.
What Dredd 3D really lacked was any meaningful context for the insanity of life in the Mega-City 1 (not to mention what’s left of the rest of the wold). Maybe a more colorful view of the post apocalyptic world would have interested more fans. On a positive note, this leaves a massive amount of material for a sequel, if the meager box office returns from this film can entice the studio to make another one.
Do yourself a favor: when Dredd comes to Blu-Ray, DVD, Netflix or Amazon Instant Video (That’s how I roll) check it out. It’s a good time shoot-em-up with tons of action.