"Dredd" by Yojimbo
Yojimbo - wrote on 04/02/13
Hollywood takes a second stab at bringing the faceless, fascistic law giver to the big screen after Sylvester Stallone's badly misjudged outing in 1995. In fact the previous attempt wasn't a complete failure; it captured the feel of the comic strip quite well, with some excellent production design and well orchestrated set pieces. The problem was that the script completely missed the point of the character. Dredd NEVER removes his helmet and most certainly would not tolerate the dubious comic "talents" of Rob Schneider any more than I would. At least the new interpretation gets the first part right and Karl Urban's jutting, bestubbled jaw certainly looks the part as does the grimy, Mad Maxified version of the uniform and artillery. Unfortunately, once more the writer has woefully missed the point of the character. Judge Dredd was a very British, darkly satirical parody of a merciless, fascistic one man judge, jury and executioner. Travis' version is just a humourless, plotless exercise in gratuitous violence that just felt to me like sitting watching someone else play an ultra-violent video game. It's basically Robocop with a sense of humour bypass and considering that it was the wide streak of black humour that made Verhoeven's film work, this is not a glowing recommendation. Despite some efficiently handled action sequences, Dredd is just another example of the fact that American film makers seem to have absolutely no concept of irony.