I was wandering through the hot topics which were running, and this week’s In(di)spire topic instantly caught my attention. It was about reviewing a great movie or a great book which failed to get the attention of the mainstream audience. I thought about it, and finally managed to keep the idea vampire-free. It was difficult, but I decided to choose a movie which failed at the box-office, and not many people I know realize its strength either. At the same time, it is also one of those movies which has a name with most of the people confuse with the spelling.
The reviews were positive, but it couldn’t bring people to the theatres at that time. Even I missed the movie on the big screen, but thankfully, it comes to Star Movies very often. This movie has one other speciality. Some time after its release, after it had disappeared from the theatres, people realized that it deserved a sequel, and the Facebook Page demanding a sequel has more than double the total number of likes which the movie has. With over one lakh fans hoping for a sequel even as the first part did bad business, this movie is Dredd.
I am confident that Dredd would have been a big hit if it had released these days. Mad Max: Fury Road with its post-apocalyptic mayhem was a huge success, and Dredd is much bigger than that in action, adventure, chaos and themes. The 1995 Sylvester Stallone and Diane Lane starrer Judge Dredd based on the same comics actually had better collection with negative reviews. I would say that Dredd was lost somewhere in between due to no fault of anyone associated with. If you consider the situation here, Dredd was never a character well-known, and needed more boost.
Dredd thrives on its imagery, of a future metropolis among the wasteland Mega-City One, a world of extreme violence where judges manage the law and order in the streets as they are police, judges and executioners, all at the same time. Among these criminals, some of them reign supreme, and one such figure is the queen of crimes, Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). The Judges Dredd (Karl Urban) and Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) will go to the two hundred storied tower where she rules, as three men are skinned alive and thrown from the top. But Ma-Ma will seal off the building with them inside and make sure that no more judges will come that way. Judges don’t think so though.
The movie is full of stylish violence which never really gets out of hand except for the blood – the limits are maintained. There is a lot of action involved and the efficient use of Slo-Mo and not the usual slow motion makes the sequences amazing to watch; there is an artistic beauty like never before. Slo-Mo is a drug which reduces the user’s perception of time heavily, and it is a smart excuse used here to make use of the slow motion in an efficient way and yet not disrupt the pace and flow of the movie. It would have been even more joy to watch it in 3D, but we all have missed that!
The cast brings some unbelievable amount of strength to this movie. Karl Urban does the incredible with most of his face covered. The character never removes the helmet, and it is a depressing thing that even as he continues to make nice impact in the leading role in a lot of movies, none of them have gone on to become big hits; not Pathfinder, not Doom and not this one. He brings the surprise here and so does Olivia Thirlby. It is an exceptional performance from her too, with her psychic side as well as in the role of a judge. I would say that this is her best ever; it is strong, emotional and stylish.
Lena Headey makes one of the best female villains of all time. You might not even recognize this Cersei/Gorgo if you weren’t told. This is too good from her. That is not all. The world design, the judges costumes, the weapons, the interiors, all have been nicely adjusted to create a realistic and yet stylish environment and sequence of events. You need science fiction, crime drama, action thriller or something with a relevant theme? Dredd got them all, and it just needs you to watch it. Star Movies is there to make sure that you do.