Pete Travis’ much-awaited reboot of John Wagner’s Judge Dredd comic strip lands in cinemas this Friday, simply titled Dredd. You can read our review of the film HERE, and while far from perfect, Travis and Alex Garland’s take on the popular British comic far surpasses the terrible Sylvester Stallone version in just about every aspect. Those who thought the titular hero would never see his fair cinematic due can rest easy, for the duo have delivered a visceral, thrilling, and grown-up action film with splendid visuals and rock-solid performances.
Here’s our 10 reasons why Dredd far and away outdoes Judge Dredd.
10. The Tone
The opening credits of Judge Dredd make it very clear from the outset that this is not going to be a film that one takes particularly seriously. The campy type-face and flashes of various Judge Dredd comic books might suggest a clear love for the source material – not that it really shows through the rest of the product – but the tone is completely wrong, and not at all befitting the serious, darkly comic demeanour that has defined the comics. An opening title crawl, complete with narration from James Earl Jones, only heightens the kitschy, jovial feel, and Alan Silvestri’s flowery score – though perfectly apt for a care-free adventure film – feels horribly inappropriate for a film about absolute, summary execution.
Thankfully this is completely rectified in Dredd; though fully aware of its own sense of pulpiness, this is serious, grown-up cinema, ultra-violent, but with a sense of humour that’s less goofy and more cynical, attuned to its older target audience compared to superhero comic book films. It has a much better idea about both what it is and what it should be, and I imagine fans of the comics are going to almost universally prefer this approach to the sillier Stallone effort.
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