Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dredd 3D (Rhoades)

“Dredd 3D”
Is Future Past

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

The British comic strip “Judge Dredd” tells a futuristic story in which police are appointed to be judge, jury, and executioner all rolled into one. One of these so-called Street Judges, Joe Dredd, is the protagonist in these sci-fi adventures that appear in a comic magazine called 2000 AD.
Back in 1995 Sylvester Stallone starred in an ill-fated movie titled “Judge Dredd.” Arnold Schwarzenegger had turned down the role because Judges wear a helmet that would hide a movie-star profile.
Now, Hollywood tries again, with “Dredd 3D,” another take on this futuristic cop, starring Karl Urban. He’s not famous enough to worry about the helmet.
You may not recognize the name of New Zealand actor Karl Urban, unless you read the credits of “Lord of the Rings” or “The Bourne Supremacy.” You’d best know him as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot.
In this new “Dredd 3D,” America is a radioactive wasteland known as Cursed Earth. The east coast metropolis of Mega-City One faces 17,000 crimes a day, the only thing between anarchy and a wobbling civilization being the Street Judges. Needless to say, justice is swift.
Here, in the dystopian future, Judge Dredd (Urban) and a new recruit  (Olivia Thirlby) take down a gang that deals a reality-altering drug called SLO-MO.
All this (as the name of the movie implies) shown in eye-poking 3D. It’s currently playing at the Tropic Ciema.
You’d think Karl Urban would think of himself as a sci-fi/fantasy actor, having appeared in “Dredd 3D,” “Star Trek,” and the two Riddick space operas “Pitch Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick” – plus the “Star Trek” and “Riddick” sequels still to come.
No,’ he said at the recent Toronto International Film Festival. “I mean I’ve done a lot of films that are in science fiction/fantasy genre but I’ve also done a lot of films that aren’t.”
Perhaps he protests too much. After all, his other major films include “Doom,” “Pathfinder,” “Priest,” and those “Lord of the Rings” biggies.
Without arguing the point any further, he describes his fans at this year’s Comic-Con as “Fantastic.” And he says he was thrilled by the crowds who greeted him at the Midnight Magic section of TIFF for the screening of “Dredd 3D.”
It’s all worthwhile,” he admits, “when you get to experience seeing that film with an audience who thoroughly enjoy it and react to the movie.” Even if they’re sci-fi and fantasy fans.

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