BLOG Another Drokking Blog About Dredd
I was wary of writing another blog about Dredd so soon after my last one. The internet is awash with stuff about Dredd3D at the moment and how it’s not doing very well in the US and in other territories. But after my previous blog about the lack of Dredd 2D screenings, and the reaction to that piece, I felt I had a little more to say. At the very least I thought I should say whether I enjoyed the film or not.
After discovering that if I wanted to see the film on opening night I’d have to go to a 3D showing, and the subsequent difficulty that would give to my spectacle-wearing other half, the SFX forum’s heroic Llama God came up with a Magyver/Blue Peter bodge idea. It seems that if you take two pairs of 3D glasses and swop one lens from each pair you can effectively make two pairs of anti-3D glasses. He suggested this idea and we decided to try it out and go along to an opening night 3D showing in Poole. The anti-3D glasses worked a treat and Llama and my other half were able to enjoy the film in glorious 2D although they had to pay 3D prices. I bit the bullet and tried it out in 3D. I enjoyed the film very much, 3D notwithstanding.
Upon our return home from our holiday in Poole we decided to go and see the film again. Ashton-Under-Lyne, our local Cineworld, was one of the 27 cinemas in the UK showing the film in 2D and we went along to check it out. I’d had to watch the film in 3D, now I wanted to see what it was like in 2D as well.
I enjoyed the film both times I saw it. I loved it, in fact. I left the cinema with a huge grin on my face both times I saw it. If this was a proper review it’d be five stars all the way. Karl Urban was amazing. He was Judge Dredd. His delivery of the “I’m the law” line is pitch perfect.
The story was a great day-in-the-life tale of a Judge in Mega City One. Olivia Thirlby was great as Anderson. Lena Heady was scarily good as the main villain Ma-Ma. The violence, action and set pieces were spectacular. The uniform looked awesome and I got a thrill every time something from the comic was said or referenced in the background. It was fantastic to see so many nods to the source material and to see a film that respected the origins and the creators of the character to such a degree. There were even references to many of the screen names of posters from the 2000AD forum.
The film wasn’t perfect: it’s not “my” Dredd from the comic but I don’t think it ever could be and the changes made for the film version work perfectly in that medium. My niggles are the petty niggles of a long-term fan and I’m perfectly aware of that fact and happy to let them slide. The biggest issue I had going in was the bike, and while I’m still not totally sold on the design, it looked a hell of a lot better in motion than it did in those leaked photos, it sounded fantastic and worked brilliantly for the film. I think it’s as close as Dredd fans are going to get and from what I read most of them, most of us, are very happy with it.
With news of the film’s poor box office a sequel is looking more and more unlikely and I’m okay with that. The film is still gathering business through word of mouth and it still might pick up. According to Box Office. com the film has currently made – as of 1 October – over 23.5 million dollars, so a sequel is still a slim possibility. But if this film is all we get I can live with that. We have a Dredd film that Alex Garland, Pete Travis and everybody involved in its creation can be proud of.
The main point I wanted to make about the film, other than the fact that I loved it was that having seen it in 2D and in 3D, I don’t think it really made that much difference. Like any 3D film I found the 3D either distracting or I just tuned it out altogether depending upon what point in the film we were at. And regarding the “Slo-Mo” sequences; I’d seen them in the trailer and clips online prior to seeing the film and they look interesting and spectacular then, I don’t think 3D added nor took anything away from the sequences. The film worked perfectly well in 2D and I preferred it in that format.
Quite why the film is failing to set the box office alight has been the source of much discussion. Some say it was badly advertised, some say it panders to the hard-core fans a little to much, some blame the 3D or the 18 certificate – R in the US – and other says that America just doesn’t get Dredd. Whatever the reason, if the film doesn’t make profit then I hope that it’s destined to become a cult hit discovered on DVD or Blu-ray and loved by those that find it. At least we got something to wipe away the sour taste of the ’95 Stallone film.