Great comic adaptation that make us forget the first movie from 1995. This one is edgier, more intelligent and is closer to the spirit of the comic book than the previous one, a movie directed by Danny Cannon (best known for his works on TV on shows such as CSI) and with Sylvester Stallone starring it, and it was a film that never understood the comic, made to the glory of his star, that made fans all over the world angry when he took off his helmet, something the character never made on the comic books. The best thing you can say about that movie is that it was cheesy science fiction. And that Diane Lane was gorgeous, as always.
Now the new Judge Dredd arrives to our screens. First thing, he never (never, I swear), takes off the helmet. It has to be hard for an actor to make a movie like this, where your only weapons, besides the gun, are the voice and the mouth, and Karl Urban makes a great effort to make Dredd an iconic character, not only because of the looks. The way he speaks, the way he moves… A damn nice job. He is the heart and soul of the movie, and anyone who has read the comic books will recognize the character under the helmet. Really nice job that deserves to be mentioned because, with a bad Dredd, the movie would have fallen apart.
The story presents us Megacity1 and the future that is waiting for us on the 22nd century. And then the Judges and Dredd, whose new mission is to evaluate a rookie with extraordinary abilities and see if she is up to the task of being a judge. They end trapped inside a gigantic building, surrounded by the troops of the new drug lord of Megacity1, Ma-Ma. These feminine characters are of capital importance because they are the light and the darkness in a world covered in gray. And Alex Garland’s script describes them brilliantly in a few seconds, with their actions (Ma-Ma’s bath, Anderson face when she sees a photo…). In a movie so full of action, to have the intelligence of showing these brief moments, is something brilliant.
It’s a dark and violent movie, with tons of action sequences, bloody and messy action sequences, that makes the film faithful to the comic book. But even when the violence is so over the top, so surreal that you know you are watching a comic book, the movie makes a real effort to show us a real and plausible world. The way the new buildings collides with the old ones, the interiors, the filth, the people who inhabits them… Peter Travis, the director, has not made only a sci-fi flick, but one you can think is real. With a really low budget for a movie like this, he has managed not only to shoot an action movie with great action sequences. He has taken care of every detail, making Megacity1, Judge Dredd and the rest something dark, real and dangerous.
The film is pure entertainment, but has something else. Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey are great, Karl Urban is perfect for the role, and the movie has something different, something special. The comic books spirit. A great adaptation. I want to go back to Megacity1.
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