Gets Judge Dredd mostly right – which is to say that as a consequence of getting it mostly right (e.g. brutally violent and extremely dark), this movie is definitely not going to be for everybody.
Saw it, and loved every single bit.
I liked how they managed to turn their budget limitations into part of the setting.
Here is hoping there is a sequel.
It was amazing.
What I want to know is this: based on the trailer I saw, it’s no surprise that they grokked Dredd a whole lot better than the career criminals who made the Stallone version, but the same trailer seemed to have no humour at all, dark or otherwise. Is that true of the movie as a whole? Did it lack the laugh-only-at-inappopriate-times humour of the comic?
but the same trailer seemed to have no humour at all, dark or otherwise. Is that true of the movie as a whole? Did it lack the laugh-only-at-inappopriate-times humour of the comic?
There are a few darkly funny moments, but generally you’ve got the gist of it. I would venture to suggest that the comedy is something that had to be lost in the transition to film: you can either have the violence be brutal and realistic and not funny, or be cartoonishly violent and funny, and they went the former route to get the atmosphere right given the limitations of their budget.
Am I the only one who does, and did, like the Stallone version?
I thought it captured the essence of Dredd very well. Judge Dredd’s whole thing is that it is sort of cartoony and ridiculous while at the same time taking itself rather seriously, and I thought the Stallone version nailed that.
I know that there are a lot of people who prefer their Dredd ‘straight’ but that’s always struck me as missing the point, a bit. If you play it straight Dredd (the person) is a complete psycho, the Punisher but with official sanction. That could be interesting to watch but it was never really what Dredd was about.
I actually recently went and read a bunch of 2000A.D. Judge Dredd trades in honor of the frumious amounts of quibbling amongst geeks prior to the release of the latest Judge Dredd movie (which I haven’t seen). I’d read a few scattered issues here and there before but never really sat down and made a go of trying to see what all the fuss was about.
The thing is that, yeah, there’s a lot of wacky stuff to be found in the pages of Judge Dredd, and there’s definitely multiple flavors of comedy from the absurd (the Judge’s Council passing an “uglification tax” so that only the rich can afford the hot new trend of paying to be made ugly) to the black (a society so starved for a sense of purpose that a man loses his job, goes on a shooting spree, and then rejoices when Dredd sentences him to decades of hard labor since it means he has something to do).
But, to be perfectly honest, the comics aren’t a wacky farcical romp-a-thon through and through either. There’s plenty there that’s played relatively straight, which I think is a necessary balancing factor…the strength of the comics, as I see it, is that it doesn’t limit itself to all absurdity all the time. Thus I’m not sure I’d agree that a Judge Dredd movie that plays it straight (like this one apparently does) is missing the point.
Conversely, I don’t think the Stalone Dredd movie (which I HAVE seen) was bad because it was ridiculous or absurd, I thought it was bad because it was a bad movie.
Haven’t seen it yet (and am debating whether or not I will), so I just want to know one thing. Is it or is it not a ripoff of The Raid: Redemption? Because the trailer gave me that impression.
Is it or is it not a ripoff of The Raid: Redemption?
It is not.
Let me be the umpteenth person on the Internet to point out that the Dredd script was written before the Raid script. I may remember reading that the director of The Raid had seen the Dredd script first. In the end, they are two different movies that use a similar device. You might as well call them both Die Hard knock-offs 🙂
From what I’ve heard, this is probably too violent/intense for me (yes, I’m a huge wuss). Which is too bad; while I’m not much of a Dredd fan, my husband is, and he’d probably like it if I went.
brutally violent is the new meh.
In order to make Dredd sympathetic while keeping him as Dredd, you need to make the bad guys really nasty.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to have bad guys who are both really nasty and kind of funny, but it’s extremely difficult to get it right, and very easy to ruin the whole film by trying it.
And obviously Dredd himself isn’t going to provide the comedy. Which means, realistically, your options are limited to playing the whole thing dead straight, or adding Rob Schneider.
@Will: In what world is “add Rob Schneider” a valid solution to any problem whatsoever, unless you’ve crashed your plane on a distant mountain and are looking for ingredients for a hearty survival stew?
And Stallone definitely does provide comedy, just not intentionally. The over-the-top posturing and shouting, although in character, are amusing in and of themselves before Schneider even enters the picture.
And finally, who said anything about making Dredd “sympathetic”? He’s not sympathetic, nor is he meant to be. You can either admire his completely uncompromising nature (he has his own kind of honor) or judge him completely by his actions (pardon the expression), but if you find him “sympathetic” there’s probably something wrong.
@JM: “Add Rob Schneider” should never be the solution. But it’s what they came up with to make the Judge Dredd film funny, and it’s one of many things they did wrong. Which was my point — you can’t make a Judge Dredd film which is a comedy. A lot of people are complaining about the lack of humour in Dredd, but it’s far better than the alternative.
And when I say sympathetic, I mean that the audience needs to be able to think of Dredd as the good guy within his universe, otherwise the film would be a horrifying downer. A fascist cop killing pro-democracy activists is a villain. A fascist cop killing nihilistic drug dealers is a antihero.
@JM: I dunno…Rob Schneider seems like he’d be kinda gamey.
@Will: Ever since I saw the Stallone movie, I’ve been telling people “When Rob Schneider is the best part of your movie, you have a problem.”
This time, they got it right. And I recommend seeing it in 3D if you haven’t yet, because Dredd put the format to good use.
I just bought the Stallone version on bluray for two reasons: One, I love it. It’s a personal favorite of mine. Two, research project on schlocky movies (specifically science fiction ones).
@Will, I dunno…I kinda feel like it’s possible to enjoy something like Dredd ironically, even if it IS a fascist cop gunning down eeeeevil pro-democracy activists or whatever. As long as it’s clearly tongue-in-cheek and over-the-top. Or hell, even if it’s not, you can still laugh at it, like I do with Frank Miller’s “Holy Terror”.
I liked the movie a lot.
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