Ric’s Netflix Picks: “Dredd”

dredd-wide Who am I?

I am the Law!

Welcome to Mega-City One, the east coast hub of a future dystopian United States. Here, the law is upheld by the Judges of the Justice Department, acting as judge, jury and executioner. One of the most decorated and dedicated is Judge Dredd (Karl Urban). He is tasked by the Chief Judge to evaluate a new recruit, Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), who has failed preliminary Judge aptitude tests but has psychic qualities that the Justice Department is interested in utilizing. Dredd begins his evaluation of Anderson with a day on the streets. Their first call: Investigate the murders of three drug dealers in the atrium of a 200-story building. The only problem is that the skyscraper is a slum, run by the nefarious drug lord Madeline “Ma-Ma” Madrigal (Lena Headey). Very quickly what appears to be a simple murder investigation turns into an all-out war, as Ma-Ma is set on protecting her turf.

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“Ma-Ma” 

Urban disappears into his role and becomes Judge Dredd. Dredd never removes his helmet, and thus retains an air of mystery while still having a hint of openness about his belief in the law. Thirlby, who I first noticed in 2009’s New York, I Love You, was excellent. Her emotional and humanistic approach is a great contrast to the black-and-white world view that Dredd holds. Headey is on fire as Ma-Ma. Her ruthless nature is unmatched by any other female villain that I can think of.

Dredd is one of the most underrated films of the last few years, and one of the best of the new crop of remakes and reboots that Hollywood seems to love these days. This film excels in ways that the first film, 1995’s Judge Dredd, could never dream of, and from what I have been told, is more akin to its comic book source material. Great acting, sharp visuals and a compelling story give Dredd the potential to be remembered as a cult classic for years to come. Do not wait to see it.

Rating:

4.3 out of 5.0

Afterwards, check out this short compilation clip from Judge Dredd, starring Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider.

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