DreddDirector: Pete Travis, Icon Film Distribution, Rated MA, 95 mins
Completely different from the movie of the 90’s which starred Sylvester Stallone as the law enforcer ‘Judge Dredd’ comes the violent reboot of the post-apocalyptic comic book hero by director Pete Travis (Vantage Point), portrayed in his version by NZ actor Karl Urban (RED) who takes his role so seriously as judge, jury and executioner-not even removing his emblazoned helmet as he polices the crime infested territory known as Mega City One in his hi-tech, weapon charged uniform.
Travis’s British made movie, set in the year 2099, is based on Alex Garland’s surreal script which sees Dredd being asked to test the suitability of Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) an attractive new recruit in becoming a judge.
As such, she joins him in his investigation of a triple murder in a multiple storey tower block of apartments that houses thousands of poverty-stricken inhabitants including a deranged drug-lord named Ma-Ma (Lena Headey - Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) who goes to great lengths to get rid of the deadly Dredd.
Despite an excessive level of violence - resulting in many splattered bodies - there is a great deal to enjoy in this futuristic fantasy, with action a plenty and Urban fulfilling his role to a T as the dreaded comic book hero besides being complemented by the performances of Thirlby and Headey.
Stallone’s earlier characterisation was dreadful but Travis’s Urban replacement is not only a huge improvement but thoroughly entertaining.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamps
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