If you havnt heard, theres a new Judge Dredd movie on the way starring Karl Urban. Based on the long standing British Comic book character, the movie (simply titled ‘Dredd’) has got a lot of peoples hopes up after the previous attempt to bring the character to screen- 1995’s ‘Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone – was almost universally panned.
The new film is produced by Lionsgate and directed by Pete Travis (Vantage Point, Endgame ), and is expected to be released in September. The debut trailer was released this evening showing the first glimpse of what to expect:
As a fan of comics and the character of Dredd, I hope this is a great movie – theres nothing better than seeing one of your characteres rendered on screen faithfully and successfully, but theres a few things I dont like about this trailer- a few things that just seem to leave me cautious.
Firstly, kudos that in true Dredd style, Karl Urban doesnt reveal his face for the whole film. Unfortunately, it doesnt seem like anyone else wore helmets in that trailer, and I fear Dredd will just come across as an eccentric caricature in the seemingly more serious final product. Hopefully in the film we see other Judges and officials wearing helmets, perhaps for theri entire screen time, to make Urbans lack of ‘face time’ seem credible.
I cant say I like how Dredd only speaks in one-liners, which dont seem all that witty or clever. Dredd is of course a character of few gruff words, but here the dialogue seems harvested from the comics and thrown in in an attempt to stay true to the source material. The problem there is that comic dialogue is traditionally quippier to allow for dialogue balloons to fit around the art, but that doesnt necessarily translate well to screen. And doesnt Urban seem to be taking a very Bale approach to growly voices- taking inspiration from the one aspect of The Dark Knight that draws ire from fans and critics.
Finally- doesnt the whole thing just seem a little to much like the plot of this years standout action title ‘The Raid: Redemption‘- Cops enter a tower block to take out the evil drug dealer, but get trapped inside and have to fight their way out – but without the awesome Silat martial arts?
To be fair though, its still too early days to speculate on plot from one trailer alone, the sequence described above perhaps only being part of the whole film. Lionsgate are taking a bit of a risk with this one- the character isnt as big as the Marvel or DC heroes, and the character hasnt been well recieved on screen before, so they’re likely taking a lower budget, less risky approach to see how the character is recieved.
Hopefully if the film does well, a sequel with a bigger budget will be greenlit to let the character and the world of Mega City 1 really shine. Besides- it cant be as bad as Green Lantern. Ammarite? 😉