If this is our destiny, we should be worried

ACTION MAN: Call me Dredd, Judge Dredd.
ACTION MAN: Call me Dredd, Judge Dredd.

Dredd 3-D. Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey; directed by Pete Travis.

Sometimes I wonder what the future will be like. Will it be a utopia full of happiness and peace? I'd like to think so, but for some reason I feel the dystopic futures of movies and books are probably more likely. One such dystopia comes from the minds of John Wagner and Carolos Ezquerra who created the comic strip Judge Dredd.

This story is set in a world where America is now a wasteland with the exception of an isolated and imprisoned city which holds 800 million residents living in squalor and fear. To keep control of this hostile environment there are Judges who are responsible for laying down the law. One of these Judges goes by the name of Dredd played by Kiwi actor Karl Urban (RED, Star Trek).

Dredd has been assigned to assess new rookie Judge Anderson played by Olivia Thirlby (The Darkest Hour, Bored to Death) and takes her out on assignment. During a call to investigate three homicides, Dredd and Anderson enter Peach Trees, a 200-storey slum controlled by the ruthless and heartless Ma-Ma played by Lena Headey (Game of Thrones). When Ma-Ma realises she has two judges in her territory, she quickly locks down the slum, starting a thrilling game of cat and mouse.

A good science fiction film for me is one that is plausible, frightening and relevant. Dredd is all that and is done well. Director Pete Travis has created a brilliant version of Dredd, reintroducing cinemagoers to a character that was portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in 1995. While Urban and Thirlby play their judge characters well, the standout was Heady who was terrifying as slum leader Ma-Ma.

As this film was shot in 3-D, it lives up to the expectations of great depth and the slow motion scenes were amazing to watch.

It really is not for the faint hearted though, as the violence is raw and is enhanced by the use of 3-D and slow motion.

Prior to stepping into the cinema, I thought Dredd would be another no-plot, special-effects, all-action flick. I was pleasantly surprised and will go so far as to say that Dredd is a good film. It never lags, is interesting all the way through and if the ending is anything to go by, there will be more in the series to come and I can't wait.

The Southland Times