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Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey
Director: Pete Travis
Indian Express Rating:1/2
"JUSTICE system is like a meat grinder. You go in human and meat comes out the other end." The best thing that can be said about that line is that it almost fits Dredd -- in goes dread, out comes dreadful. The second best is that the film gets over soon after.
Based on the comic book character Judge Dredd, 'Dredd 3D' borrows more unapologetically from a recent Indonesian film, The Raid: Redemption, about ridding an apartment complex of its psycopathic ganglord. Here the goons are led by a woman known as 'Ma-ma', with a slashed face and meaner expression played by Lena Headey, as she desperately tries to invoke her inner Keira Knightley. So in a close mop, pouting lips and a mysterious smile, she stands there at the 200th floor planning mayhem on the two "judges" who have dared threaten her reign.
One of them is Judge Dredd (Urban), and the other a rookie, Anderson (Thirlby), with psychic powers and a frail disposition. The two qualities combine to ensure that she is the only judge we can actually get a look at -- "since helmets interfere with psychic powers". The logic may be woozy but it's at least better than having a hero with his face covered whom you can't tell apart from the rest of his tribe. That tribe is of judges who are police, jury and executioners combined into one, dispensing instant justice on the spot.
Despite controlling the entire drug trade in 'Mega City' -- the concrete monoliths that have come up after world destruction -- Ma-ma lives in a grungy, rundown building and skins people for pleasure. The drug she is making her millions from invokes a feeling of "slow motion" -- it's even called the "slo-mo drug" -- and director Pete Travis obviously loves the same. Especially in one scene where a shootout has bullets piercing body parts in excrutiating details from every angle. In the midst of all the bodies, Judge Dredd tells Anderson they have to arrest one survior who happens to be spared: "You can't execute a guy on 99 per cent proof."
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