In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.
A reboot is hardly a reason to get excited about.
If you add the fact that it’s a reboot of a poorly received Sylvester Stallone movie back in 1995, things start to get worse.
Fortunately, the plot is quite unique, for everyone who hasn’t seen the epic action movie ‘The Raid’.
In this new action movie (and rest assured: action it is) Karl Urban plays the titular Dredd, a judge. In the future, cities have crumbled and large buildings remain amongst the ruins. A new law system is active here, consisting of judges. Cops who act as a judge, in other words: they can kill you if they deem it necessary.
The plot is as thin as they come, Dredd gets a rookie with him called Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) and soon after finds himself in a huge flat building which is run by Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). She makes and distributes a drug called SLO-MO. When taken, the drug causes you to experience everything in slow motion. A fact that director Pete Travis uses a lot to create Matrix like action sequences.
Once Ma-Ma realises that Dredd and his rookie are in her building to take her down, she closes the building off, leaving Dredd and Anderson to fight waves of enemies (since the entire building is conveniently filled with them) in order to get to Ma-Ma.
Much has been said about whether or not this is a cheap rip-off from ‘The Raid’.
With the only fact speaking in its favor being that the script was developed before ‘The Raid’ was released (at least through official channels that is).
But with certain key sequences like Ma-Ma speaking to her people, and a cross balcony shoot out, and having it all take place in the aforementioned flat, you can’t help but get the feeling you’ve seen it all before.
And while Dredd lays the violence on heavy, it’s also quite ridiculous and the lack of pacing doesn’t help either.
So if you do want to venture out and rent a good action movie, try ‘The Raid’.
Its direction is better, its actors more capable and its story more engaging.