There are a couple of films coming out this year that have been just been hovering below my Must See list. One of them is the new rebooted Judge Dredd film, Dredd, which sees Karl Urban donning the famous helmet in an attempt to undo the cruel damage done to our fragile psyches by the cheese-scented turd that was Sylvester Stallone’s 1995 Judge Dredd.
We’ve seen just images thus far, and while they certainly looked to be a very faithful adaptation from the comic page to the screen, I still need to personally see some footage before I could officially bump it up in my anticipation rankings.
But since there’s no word yet on when we’ll get a trailer, this is probably the next best thing. John Wagner, the character’s creator, has seen some footage. In fact, he’s seen the entire film. And it turns out that he really liked what he saw.
“I went up to London yesterday to see the completed Dredd film. I’ve had reservations about certain aspects of it, and made them plain to the team at DNA. All but one of them – a little quibble at the beginning – have been addressed. And what a lot they’ve added. Music is on the button. SFX are excellent. Filming is impressive. I’ve not seen a modern 3-D movie before but I like it. I found myself reaching out trying to touch things that were dancing before my eyes. Karl is a great Dredd and Olivia gets Anderson completely. This is Dredd as it should be done – true to character, visceral, unrelentingly violent (but not off-puttingly so). It will open, I believe, sometime in September. No doubt you’ll let me know what you think when you’ve seen it, but this has my recommendation.”
While it’s nice to hear that the 3D is actually being used for something other than artificially inflating the ticket price, that’s a complete non-issue to me, as this will definitely be a 2D viewing. My concern has always been whether or not director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) and screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine)have managed to successfully translate that brutal, no-nonsense nature of the classic 2000AD comic to the screen. And judging by Wagner’s comments, they certainly seem to have done just that.
And the little quibble that he’s speaking about really is a minor one, as he later elaborated:
“The quibble: The use of modern day vehicles in a futuristic setting. Given the budget constraints it is hard to see what they could do to avoid it. It’s no big deal, really. It’s over quickly and once you’re past that it’s full steam ahead into Dreddworld. If this film does well we can expect the budget on the next to increase, therefore more money for such SFX. And just consider, on a budget effectively less than a fifth of the Stallone piece they’ve managed to make a movie far more representative of the character and strip we all know and love.”
Those modern day vehicles also happen to be South African vehicles (I’m hoping for an old Ford Cortina or a souped up Citi Golf to make an appearance in Mega-City One), as most of the film was shot in and around Cape Town, which is certainly an added incentive for my newfound excitement levels for the film.
Last Updated: May 29, 2012