Some words on Dredd

Dredd 3D will probably not be getting a sequel.

I'm crushed.

You may not care, especially if you didn't see the movie because you had no idea who the heck Dredd is, or because you associate it with a horrible piece of crap movie from decades ago. If either is true, hear me out.

First off, if you saw the horrible Stalone movie, forget it completely. For fans of the original comics (like me), it was a travesty. I even hate having to state that, but it seems that was the reason a lot of people didn't go to see Dredd 3D.

They should have.

Dredd 3D is an amazing movie. It captured the spirit of the comic books and the story of the man fighting the unending crime wave that is Mega City One, Judge  Dredd, perfectly (Karl Urban did an amazing job). It even managed to do his catchphrase right. I really can't tell you how overjoyed I was that Dredd did that. This movie has that rare quality of being able to please die-hard fans like me, and those new to it as well. My wife, who only had a vague idea of who Dredd was (and kept saying, "is it that Stalone movie?" - to my horror), LOVED this movie, and she's not alone. That seems to be the reaction of pretty much everyone who sees it... On video. The movie did not do well in the box office, and though there was a letter-writing campaign to get a sequel, it may have no future ahead (except for a short film—maybe).

So why was it so good?

For one, it's well put together. The pacing is great, it will keep you tense and wanting more throughout. Second, the characters are well developed and manages to get you to feel for them more or less off the bat. Dredd (I'm dropping the 3D part of the title, it never should have been in there) chronicle's Anderson's rookie run. Anderson, for those who don't know, is a telepathic Judge (crime is so bad in this future that society has empowered law-enforcement to be Judge, Jury, and Executioners in the streets) who is thrust in to a deathtrap when she and Judge Dredd investigate a drug ring in the worst part of the city. She is sensitive without being weak, and we feel for her as she tries to impress the toughest, most hard-assed of all Judges in Mega-City One (Dredd) in what is perhaps the worst first-day on the job anyone has ever had.

Dredd as a character is perhaps one of the original anti-heroes. The comic book premiered in the British comic "2000 A.D." in 1977. Much like a shark, he hasn't needed to evolve much from then to now to get it right. Dredd is a sheer force of will, dedicated to fighting for justice in a world hell-bent on doing the wrong thing. He is tougher than steel, and yet anyone who reads the comics or sees Dredd (this movie) knows he's far from a one-dimensional character. He cares deeply about the citizens of the city as well as his partners. That is what motivates him to walk through waves of bullets, wade through nuclear waste, and keep going despite wounds that would kill lesser men. You may never want to run into him, but you'd be damn lucky to have him come to your aid. He's a hard-ass for your sake, not his own, and this was a brilliant twist that I'd guess has kept the comic going so long.

In classic 1970's and 1980's fashion, the comic has delved into all kinds of crazy things, from nuclear mutants to alternate dimensions and even a version of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse known as the Dark Judges (we were all hoping this would be the sequel's plot. It's really a good story). All of these crazy things still fit in Dredd's fantasy sci-fi world, because Dredd is ultimately the embodiment of the unbreakable will to stand up to any challenge, no matter how tough, to enact justice. I highly recommend you see Dredd, and if you like it, definitely check out the comics and graphic novels (the most up to date ones are by Duane Swierczynski, check them out). Also, below is one of the trailers from YouTube for your reference (it doesn't entirely do the movie justice, but it's what we got).


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