I’ll admit, I went into Dredd curious to see what Hollywood would do with this remake. Would they move closer to the source material than the 1995 version starring Sylvester Stallone, or would they go in an entirely different direction? In all honesty, I think that the people behind this movie had a better sense of the world Judge Dredd inhabits than their predecessors.
The casting in the movie is surprisingly good. Karl Urban does a fine job as Joe Dredd. Lena Headey gives a fairly straightforward performance as gang leader, Ma-Ma. Olivia Thirlby, however, steals the show with her performance as Anderson.
However, despite the performances and the good intentions, Dredd feels flat to me. I think part of the disconnect is the fact that the world it’s set in is too contemporary. The costuming and sets don’t make me think this is set in the future, after a nuclear war. They look more like a really bad section of Los Angeles on a smoggy day. Honestly, the set production and costuming of this movie just feel lazy.
The plot is fairly straightforward. There are no real surprises. You pretty much know who’s going to live and who’s going to die fifteen minutes into the movie.
All in all, I’d have to give Dredd 3 out of 10 on the Media Scale of Movie Love. I would not go see this film in the theaters, but I would rent it on Pay-Per-View or from Redbox.