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Dredd 3D: A Deliciously Dark Judge Dredd Adaptation

Posted on the 19 September 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost

Dredd 3D: A deliciously dark Judge Dredd adaptation Dredd 3D billboard poster. Photo credit: Graeme Pow http://flic.kr/p/cZ25cJ

The background

Sylvester Stallone took a stab at the comic book hero back in 1995 and audiences were left yearning for a more faithful adaption of the violent comic book hero Judge Dredd. British director Pete Travis’s fresh version promises to inject a bit more dread into Dredd.

Darker, grittier version

It seems every comic book adaptation these days strives for a ‘darker’ approach. Dredd 3D, however, may well fully deserve this description. Fans of the Judge Dredd character from the 2000AD comic series were left disappointed by the family-orientated 1995 cinematic version. This time, according to The Telegraph, it is “tougher, leaner and altogether better, this fresh attempt makes no bones about how violent the material should be”. The Hollywood Reporter noted “the violence here is graphic and gory, taking full advantage of that R rating.” The Los Angeles Times observed how star Karl Urban introduced the film at Toronto:  “He held a microphone close to his mouth and in his character’s deep rumble intoned, ‘Its judgment time,’ followed by a profane epithet that cannot be mentioned for fear of offending more sensitive readers.”

Despite this fidelity to the source material’s grittier fare, The Hollywood Reporter  noted that the limited scope of the film may irritate fans expecting to see the full sweep of Mega City One as depicted in the comic books. Empire concurred and raised the possibility of a sequel: “With a bigger budget, Dredd could get to play in a bigger sandpit. There’s a whole Cursed Earth out there, just waiting to be explored.”

Stunningly shot

Critics are unanimous in their praise of cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire. The Los Angeles Times observed that he “mixes bright, vibrant colors with dark, forbidding tones in a hypnotic swirl. The drug in the film is called ‘Slo Mo,’ and provides the opportunity for somewhat dazzling effects, colors turned up to replicate heightened senses. More than once, blood spurts out over the audience in 3-D, which brought cheers from the crowd.” The Hollywood Reporter also heaped praise upon the cinematography: “His first venture into 3D is a blaze of saturated colours, gorgeous high-resolution close-ups and dazzling slow-motion sequences. Imagine the balletic slowed-down carnage of vintage Sam Pekinpah or John Woo, but taken to the next technological level.”

Karl Urban’s chin

Empire was adamant that the film is rescued by “the manliest movie chin this side of Kirk Douglas” aka Karl Urban. Acting, as he does, from behind a helmet for the entirety of the film, his portrayal was praised as being the most faithful aspect: “This Dredd is a deadpan delight – he doesn’t grow as a person and he doesn’t crack wise. In fact, the movie generates its few laughs from his sheer intractability – a grunt here, a monosyllabic response there. It’s a role that has to be handled with care, and luckily Urban is excellent.”

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