As an avowed comic book guy, I will usually sit through anything that's based on a comic book...even if I'm not a fan or reader of that particular book. So, when I saw that Dredd was finally on DVD, I couldn't wait to find the time to drop it in the player and see 1) if it was any good and 2) how it compared to the horrific Stallone version. Well, I have to say, I was more impressed than I thought I'd be!
Now, in case you're unfamiliar with Judge Dredd, he lives in a dystopian future where 'judges' are the cops on the street...but they're really judge, jury and executioner. Which leads to terrific violence, which you know I'm a big fan of! In this story, Dredd is evaluating a rookie judge, the two of them are sent to an apartment tower called Peach Trees, to investigate a murder. The murder is really a drug hit, and when the two judges arrest a suspect, the leader of the drug cartel locks down the complex and orders the two judges killed. The interesting thing about this story is that they don't give you an 'origin' story, we're introduced to Dredd and we're expected to figure it out as we go...which I always enjoy, don't you hate it when a movie seems to be talking down to you? I'm no dummy, I'm sure I can keep up with a comic book story, just tell me the story, don't keep explaining yourself to me! Dredd is one of the better comic book movies that I've seen in recent years (with Marvel excluded), the story is action-packed enough to keep it moving, while still introducing the character and giving us enough back story to make you hope for a sequel! Karl Urban is terrific as Dredd, he's quickly becoming one of my favorite genre actors, just between this and Star Trek, you can really see this guy's got some range! And, unlike the Stallone version, the movie is about the character NOT the star, we never get to see Dredd without his helmet...like in the comic book, kudos to Urban for serving the character and not his own ego! I'm giving Dredd 4 out of 4 cigars, if you like your justice dished out from the barrel of a gun, then you'll love Dredd!!!!