Science fiction has tackled many subjects, but often doesn’t look into overpopulation. That’s something I’m constantly worried about, because I hear about countries like India and China that have large populations and not enough food and space for them. Due to illegal immigration, overpopulation may become a problem in the states. Either we need to make the immigration process easier or we need to crack down harder. I know something like the one child per family law in China was a bust and I not suggesting something like this, but I don’t want a future where I’m shoved into a home with little space next door a poor sap. Movies like Soylent Green and Logan’s Run show futures of dystopian population that has spiraled out of control and have offered solutions. This is another movie that shows the dark side of population control.
Dredd is the second attempt of adapting the Judge Dredd comics into film. I have not read any of the comics, but my understanding of this world is that society lives under one city after nuclear war has destroyed the rest of the land. Crime has reached an all time high and the police system is too slow to stop everything. A new force is eradicated called the Judges. They are the police, Judge, jury, and if necessary, executioner. I remember the Stallone movie, Judge Dredd back from the nineties and I happen to find it a guilty pleasure. So does this one finally make the correct sentence to a good adaptation?
Dredd goes for a more serious adaptation as things are looking like the ghettos in District 9. Mega City One is a vast metropolis that stretches on the former eastern coast of the United States. A new drug is being introduced called “Slo-Mo”. When I first saw the trailer and it demonstrates this drug in front of me, I thought this was going to look like an extended episode of Baywatch. Instead, the drug makes the world a little more beautiful.
Meanwhile, Judge Dredd (played by Karl Urban) is out training a new rookie, Anderson (played by Olivia Thrilby) who also happens to be a mutant psychic. They are both responding to a triple homicide in one of several tower blocks. What they don’t know is that this is where all the “Slo-Mo” is being made, being overseen by the power Ma-Ma (played by a frightening Lena Headey) The gang locks down the tower, forcing the two judges to go in, floor by floor, to take down evil and reclaim justice to the block.
Dredd is a movie that Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance should have been; an effective grindhouse style movie that has a great story. Karl Urban provides a Clint Eastwood-like performance to pull off this man of the law that would destroy all evil. The “Slo-Mo” drug that is shown also so evokes the great idea that time is a value in this craphole of a future. But if these people are willing to make this at the cost of spreading fear, then it is nothing more then the evil formula of a mad scientist.
I’ll give this four and a half judge helmets out of five. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this. Dredd is something that is so self aware of it’s violence and gore, it glorifies in every scene it happens. Yet there is a balance of social emotion and character development around it. Dredd is the perfect midnight action thriller.