|Karl Urban stars as |
Dredd is what results when the Hollywood imagination factory goes on strike. It's actually jaw-dropping how derivative and generic this film is. Judge Dredd is Robocop with less wit, and the story is virtually a carbon copy of The Raid. The action? There's a lot of creeping around concrete corridors and jumping out to kill baddies. The baddies, as is usual in the lamer action films, make things easy by obligingly standing out in the open and otherwise making themselves easy targets. The only thing that distinguishes Dredd from its peers is its bloodiness. The screen is awash in fake blood, not to mention flying bits of bone and flesh. The only other wrinkle in the film is Anderson's ability to read minds. This comes in handy from time to time, but it's an add-on that doesn't bring very much to the party.
The actors are as generic as the plot. Karl Urban as Dredd only gets to act with his chin thanks to a Great Gazoo helmet that almost completely obscures his face, and Olivia Thirlby as Anderson appears to have been kept tranquilized throughout the shooting of the film. And how about poor Wood Harris? He played drug kingpin Avon Barksdale in The Wire, and now he gets to play a subordinate to a drug kingpin. Never let it be said that roles are limited for black actors in Hollywood: they get to play a wide variety of roles within the illegal narcotics industry. Speaking of kingpins, Ma Ma is a terrible villainess. She looks and acts like a tired Denny's waitress who's stuck working the all-night shift. Scooby Doo has faced more convincing villains than Ma Ma.
If you have to watch this one at least wait until it's out on DVD; that way you wont have to sit through another example of why 3D sucks.