DREDD (Pete Travis) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
It's been two decades since Sylvester Stallone blasphemed the gritty legacy of the cult comic-book lawman Judge Dredd, and now English director Pete Travis (Omagh, Vantage Point) and screenwriter/producer Alex Garland bring the character back to his ultra-violent roots. This unapologetically brutal thriller returns to the concept of Dredd as a sardonic, single-minded dispenser of justice in a wretched post-apocalyptic world.
The plot, which finds Dredd (Karl Urban) and a psychic rookie (Olivia Thirlby) trapped inside a massive residential building ruled by a ruthless drug lord (Lena Headey), can't help but recall Gareth Huw Evans's The Raid, which wowed Toronto's Midnight Madness crowd a full year before Dredd opened at TIFF 2012. It boxes itself in, script-wise, in a similar manner.
But that doesn't mean it isn't fun, particularly when Urban uses his stoic deadpan for subtly comic purposes. And the lusty depictions of Dredd's brutality should go over especially well with the gorehound crowd.