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First DREDD Trailer Hopes You Don’t Remember Sylvester Stallone
The new trailer for Dredd, the second film based on 2000 A.D.’s Judge Dredd character (the first being the awful 1995 Judge Dredd film, where Dredd was played by Sylvester Stallone) has hit the webs. And, well… I dunno. It doesn’t really sway me one way or the other.
The Pete Travis directed flick is set to hit screens in the USA on September 21st and Australia on the 25th of October. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to wait.
Much of the footage in the trailer seems designed around the fetishistic slow-motion shots that have become mandatory in action films since The Matrix was released. Although, unlike countless other irritating films that overuse this technique as shorthand for “c00l” and “out of touch,” Dredd seems to have a story-related reason for doing this, at least. The film revolves around the manufacturing of a designer drug called “Slow Mo,” which causes the user to feel like time is moving super slowly: add in some guns and a dystopian future, allow to rise for an hour, and presto, you got yourself an action movie!
For those unfamiliar with Judge Dredd, he is an old UK comics character that both satirises and is an ultraviolent wish-fullfillment fantasy about a “Judge” (essentially a cop who is “Judge, Jury, Executioner”) in the totalitarian nightmare world of Mega-City One. One of the things that got fans riled up in the Stallone adaptation was that Dredd was seen regularly with his helmet off, which to Judge Dredd fans, is the equivalent of if Batman began spontaneously jacking off in the middle of one of the Nolan films. Dredd is meant to represent the facelessness of the law, and also BOOM BANG CRASH POW.
Karl Urban, who plays Dredd in this go around, has, along with director Travis and screenwriter Alex Garland (Sunshine, 28 Days Later), promised that Dredd will keep his helmet on, and that it will be more faithful to the tone of the comics. This, of course, was met with the indifference that comic book fans are typically known for, with many saying things like “That is fine, we would just like an entertaining film. Take as many liberties as you need, I have far more important things in my life to be concerned about.”
Stepping into the Rob Schneider sidekick role that fans of the 1995 film have demanded is Olivia Thirlby. Thirlby, is playing Cassandra Anderson, a trainee Judge who has to shoot stuff with Judge Dredd a bunch, because CRIME. The plot appears to have Anderson and Dredd stranded in a huge apartment block that is controlled by a ruthless drug lord (Lena Headey), who locks the Judges in, and demands the inhabitants of the block kill them. Inevitably, comparisons are now going to be made with last years’ The Raid, which had an almost identical premise, although this seems to be coincidental, as both were in production at the same time.
So, get mildly excited, for what is almost certainly going to be a film that is screened in theatres, and will definitely either be all right or not. I’m hoping for an awesome Judge Dredd film, but this trailer didn’t do much for me other than promise gun fights and irritating camera work. So, in the spirit of moderation, I’m going to call it right now: FILM OF THE YEAR.