Fight Faves: DREDD (2012)

It’s February of 2016 and less than four years since director Pete Travis graced us with Dredd 3D, possibly the single best out of two cinematic film adaptations inspired by its 2000 A.D. comic book publication. Alex Garland’s script was a miracle work that pits actor Karl Urban in the title role along with actress Olivia Thirlby as a humanoid clairvoyant serving as a rookie Judge for the Hall Of Justice.

The two ultimately end up heading to a delapidated slum in Mega City One known as Peach Trees, owned and controlled by its biggest drug lord, Ma-Ma, played by actress Lena Headey. When our Judge and his assigned rookie get there, they get more than their money’s worth when Ma-Ma traps them, essentially waging war with our protagonists.

The film garnered huge critical support, but after bombing in the box office, sequel hopes deteriorated, and despite support for a second installment, the film’s producers and even Garland and Travis have gone on record saying that Dredd 2 would be a no-go. This is a disappointment I will never live down as it just goes to show what happens when a good thing falls victim to its past demons; I suspect that l peoples’ ire toward the previous Sylvester Stallone starrer had an affect on peoples’ judgement, on top of the film’s light marketing…either way, I seriously hate that more people didn’t show up for this movie.

Urban’s performance is the most signature to date on top of the overall vision and tone one can easily akin to Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 crime epic, Sicario. The visuals were amazing, the action is blistering and brutal, and we got characters and a script that gave this film the seriousness it needed to work next to some of the most far out and explosive action sequences by far.

This, as slow as it has come to pass, has evidently led to fans’ hopes for at least a Netflix series that can carry over what the film gave us. Will it happen? That’s entirely up to the powers that be. Otherwise, Travis’s 2012 masterpiece is one to bookmark for the ages.

Moreover, I’m glad I saw this film in 3D, because the fools who chose not to support this film really missed out on some of the film’s most fantastic moments like this:

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I purely suggest you prioritize it as of this article. It’s on DVD, Blu-Ray, Digital HD and VOD wherever it is sold. And buy it too. Don’t just rent it, BUY it.


~Lee B. Golden
Ballistic Cinematheque, founder and editor


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