In 1994 Sylvester Stallone brought Judge Dredd to the big screen, in what was possibly one of the worst films in the decade. That film tarnished the name of Dredd, to the point that you wouldn’t believe that Dredd could actually be a good film. Well I’m glad to say that the 2012 reboot to this awesome franchise is DREDDFULLY… AWESOME!!


Dredd was shot right here in South Africa, in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. The film smartly capitalized on the landscape merging both CGI and real aspects of the city to give us the gritty feel required for one awesome Mega City-One.

Dredd Mondo Poster
Now it goes without saying that Dredd wasn’t one of my most anticipated films for the year, but after watching it, it certainly looks like it will be in my Top Ten films for the year.

 Right now we live in a time that most films are getting rebooted or remade, and for the most part these sorts of films either succeed or straight fail. Dredd certainly proves to be one of those films that are a successful reboot, by giving us a us a awesome character, a good story and loads of blood and action.

With the comic book industry really flourishing at the moment, we have seen Hollywood really take these famous fictional characters and give them films that’s all about the characters origin story. We have seen it with Batman, Spider-Man, James Bond and soon Robocop, however Dredd goes against this overplayed fad and dives into its story headstrong giving us no inclination of Dredd’s past life.

Which was a breath of fresh air, the film dives straight into action, with unremorseful violence. In the first 10 minutes of the film we find out all we need to know about Dredd, which is that he is the law; his the police, the judge, the jury and the executioner, who can only live his life one way, and that way is THE LAW.

Dredd is a character that has no development, that doesn’t really make many wisecracks, he has one belief and he sticks to it, there is no swaying Dredd. For an actor it’s very easy to portray a character like Dredd wrong, but thankfully Karl Urban was a good solid choice for Dredd. Giving a very memorable performance for the actor even though his face was half covered for the entire film.

Urban certainly proves he has what it takes, as his versatility certainly shines through in this role. We would love to see him as Dredd once again in the future sometime.
Olvia Thirlby as Judge Cassandra Anderson and Karl Urban as Dredd

Olivia Thirlby plays Rookie Judge Cassandra Anderson, who is being assessed by Dredd as they have to battle for their survival in a 200-story slum against Ma-Ma’s (played by Lena Heady) gangs. Thirlby is a still a young actress, even though she has acted in a number of films already, albeit in smaller roles. This time in Dredd she is right alongside the star of the film, as Thirlby certainly holds her own. Thirlby proves to be the heartbeat of the film, as you run alongside Dredd and Anderson in this chase they in for their lives. Thirlby certainly does not get drowned out by a strong performance by Urban as she proves she has what it takes to be a solid pick for action films as well as provide a all round solid performance.
Lena Headey as Ma-Ma

Ma-Ma is the villain of the story played by seasoned actress Lena Headey, in a role that she could do with here hands tied behind her back. Headey is perfect in this role, which calls for a true villainous character that will push Dredd through out the film to his boiling points.

This film is truly the perfect way to re-introduce fans and general audience to Dredd in a big way, which will have you leave the cinema in sheer delight.

The film is kind of a love letter to real hardcore 80’s action films, like Robocop or the like. Dredd doesn’t pretend to be smarter than it is, all it does it play the story straight without over complicating it, and it keeps the film focused on one thing, Dredd and Anderson’s fight for survival. Its because of this straight played story that hits every turn and swerve just right, that makes Dredd truly worthwhile.

 Dredd is certainly not the perfect film but it hits all the right notes and it certainly is a blast to watch.



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