Tuesday Sep 25 2012
‘Dredd 3D’ a decent action movie
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
“Dredd 3D” Directed by Pete Travis Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey Rating: Three out of five stars ‘Dredd 3D’ a decent action movie By Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger In the future, when all of humanity lives in giant, high-tech Pringles cans, it’s up to a sourpuss lawman named Judge Dredd to stop criminals dead in their tracks. Crime is so out of hand in the massive, overcrowded wasteland of Mega City One that cops are authorized to act as judge, jury and executioner to stem the chaos. Karl Urban stars as Dredd, a man whose puckered visage makes it seem as if flatulence is forbidden in the future and criminals are breaking that law constantly. Unfortunately, that’s not the actual plot of the film, which really finds Dredd cracking down on a drug queen-pin known as Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), whose new drug SLO-MO is all the rage with the kids these days. SLO-MO makes the user’s brain feel as if time is passing by … well, slower. It’s really just an excuse for the director to incorporate some stylish (and gory) special effects and show them at a drawn-out, fetishistic pace. Urban, all frowny-faced and goofily adorned in a helmet that never comes off, delivers a tough-as-nails performance, despite limitations imposed upon the character. Olivia Thirlby plays Dredd’s rookie (and of course psychic) partner who falls into a long line of movie characters who are too good-looking for their chosen profession. Thirlby is a good-enough actress but I just couldn’t buy her as a blood-letting, justice-serving future cop. The film is set entirely in a locked-down massive housing complex so the fighting is often claustrophobic and intense. When the movie isn’t fawning over itself and the nasty death scenes it has concocted, “Dredd 3D” is actually a decent little action flick. It’s pea-brained and myopic in the execution of its themes, with a discernible lack of subtext, but “Dredd 3D” is perfect for those obsessed with frog-throated anti-heroes and violence-ridden sideshows. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.