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Critic gives 'Dredd' five stars

By Kyle Ogden
On September 30, 2012

In a post-apocalyptic world known as Mega City One, crime is everywhere. The hands of justice are limited to what are known as judges.
Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is assigned to take Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), the psychic rookie, with him to give her some field experience.
What starts out as a typical day in Mega City One takes a turn for the worse when Dredd and Anderson go to investigate a triple homicide in the 200-story Peach Tree Slum building and uncover a drug manufacturing clan ran by the ruthless ex-prostitute turned drug lord known as Mama (Lena Headey).
Mama puts the building on lockdown and traps Dredd and Anderson. It's now up to Dredd and Anderson to survive the onslaught of the mama clan and bring justice to the Peach Tree slums.
I was a bit weary going to see "Dredd." The movie "Judge Dredd," starring Sylvester Stallone in 1995, was not a major success and going from such a big guy, Sylvester Stallone, to average-sized Karl Urban gave me doubts as to how intimidating I would find the character to be. I did see this one in 3-D, as well, which, in my opinion, does not show much trust in the film.
However, this movie proved me wrong in every aspect. The beginning of the film sets the tone and gives the audience a taste of how things work in Mega City One.
The drug that the mama clan is manufacturing slows down the brain, causing the user to mentally experience everything in slow motion at a tenth of the speed. The 3-D plays well into this when you see some of the action sequences going slow and in 3-D with bullets, blood and debris flying at your face.
Karl Urban could not have made a better Judge Dredd. Even though he is not an enormously buff guy, the suit, helmet, and his badass demeanor make him incredibly intimidating. Unlike the original film, Dredd stays true to the British comic, preventing the audience from ever seeing Dredd's face during the film.
All of Urban's acting comes from his mouth and jaw. I give credit to Urban for doing a movie where only a third of his face is seen.
Dredd is a typical action film. However, it's a very well-done typical action film. The gun-fighting sequences are top-notch, and it doesn't hurt that Dredd's gun can alternate between six different types of fire including incendiary, armorpiercing, stun and rapid fire.
Though the story is decently simple, there are twists and turns in the plot and it is full of high-suspense moments. This movie is on the same level of intensity as "300" and I do not say that lightly.
The only downside I found to the movie was that I wanted to see more of Mega City One. Other than that, Dredd was incredibly fun to watch.
I cannot think of anything wrong with this movie that I disliked other than not seeing enough.


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