At last yesterday I got to see Dredd 3D. I have been hanging out to see this movie and the end result was one very satisfied movie goer and Dredd fan. Go see the film. It's a very, very good action movie and stays true to the core of the Judge Dredd character. The Judge Dredd actor by the way is from New Zealand like me. Yaaay!
No helmet removal TICK.
Extreme evil bad guys TICK.
A Mega City Slum Block TICK.
Justice dispensed Mega City One style TICK!!
Many of you reading this may be familiar with the Dredd alternate sci-fi future universe so you may well know what I am talking about. I am going to ramble on a bit here anyway so feel free to stop reading anytime.
Mega City Blocks.
Giant mega towers that take skyscrapers to the next level. Much like a self contained city within a city really. However in Dredd's world these are filled with the unemployed masses as unemployment is around 96%. Robots do a lot of work and I recall in an old issue of Judge Dredd that the rumour of a vacancy led to a massive job riot. Citizens of Mega City one are as likely to identify themselves as a (insert name of Block here) before being a Mega City One Citizen. This loyalty to ones Block can lead to Block war. Block vs Block. I recall this got really out of hand in the comic strip with 'Block Mania' and almost the entire city erupted in Block wars. Turned out this was orchestrated by a Sov spy who infected water supplies. It was a preliminary strike before a full military invasion by the Sovs. Mega City one was almost totally destroyed but Dredd and the Judges of course prevailed. Hell Yeah!
No Helmet removal.
This is important as in the comic strip the helmet of Dredd does not get removed. If it does you just get blocked by another character or scenery getting in the way. It's an unusual thing for big ego actors to be happy to have their trademark syndicated face hidden in films so I am glad they stayed true to the comic strip. It would have been crap if they did.
Extreme evil bad guys.
In Mega City one the depths of cruelty and vile imaginations is insane. The risk that a citizen takes in everyday life can result in some very extreme punishment. You can do time in an iso-cube for Jay Walking! Of course in a Comic strip you can create extreme body counts and extreme individuals and this was transferred to film very well indeed. Gang culture within blocks and sometimes across blocks is significant.
Justice dispensed Mega City One style.
Dredd and his fellow judges are not comic strip heroes who have powers of flight or bullet proof skin or X-Ray vision. They are the ultimate high tech equipped crime fighting cops. Actually beyond a cop as the system we know today was Judged inadequate. Judges absorbed the decisions of the Courts and Jury's and accelerate the execution of justice and punishment in Mega City One is brutal, swift and can result in on the spot execution. Why then should we be such big fans of Old Stony Face as we sometimes call Dredd? Perhaps we have all had experiences that we would have liked to have seen some instant Justice handed out. In the movie you get an excellent introduction into a movie version of Dredds world (it differs from some comic strip aspects) but the essence is there. He is an Anti-Hero in many ways. Part of a more or less fascist faceless machine. A human all the same though who strives to keep and law and order the way he is trained from the age of 5. Graduating the academy 15 years later to start as a Rookie Judge.
It was cool to see a few comic strip memories in the movie....A big Graffiti tag by Chopper, Drokk on the back of a punks jacket and even a poster for a movie called The Krysler Mark. Good work.
It is strange to think today that the comic strips I enjoyed back in the early 80's were illustrated by amazing artists that struggled to make a living from what they did incredibly well. Not something I gave a thought beyond 'that would be a cool job'. It would be excellent if another movie followed this one as they got the balance right in my opinion. The balance between over the top exaggerated comic strip violent story lines and the skill to transfer the essence of them to a believable motion picture reality.
Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)