Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's all the deep end.

It seems like Hollywood is remaking everything from my childhood. I'd say slowly but surely, but it's more like the opposite, quickly and f--king cluelessly. Month after month, it seems like studios are firing up the Nova Laboratories created Reboot 5000 and unleashing (unoriginal) Hell upon movie-goers. Last night, I knew I was in for yet another remake, but I thought it was of a flick I saw theatrically eighteen years ago. Instead, it was just like something I saw nine months ago.

I can't remember the original Judge Dredd at all. In fact, I thought the three seashells bit was from it. My bad. But I do remember The Raid: Redemption [review] quite well, as I consider it one of the best action movies I have ever seen. Intentionally or not, last year's Dredd essentially shares a premise with the Indonesian ass kicker. In both flicks, outnumbered cops are trapped in massive tower controlled by a psychotic drug lord. And while a similar plot may have put a slow-motion bullet through the face of my enthusiasm, somehow it didn't kill it altogether.

Dredd's um, redemption, comes in the form of its unrelenting style. Gloriously violent in all the right ways, director Pete Travis presents Mega City One as the ultimate shit hole. The color palette purposely looks like day-old vomit. Browns, yellows and grays dominate, with the occasional streak of neon color. But things get beautiful quickly, whenever someone takes a hit of Slow Mo, the drug ravaging the city, and more specifically, the apartment complex Dredd and his partner Anderson end up in . Slow Mo seems like some good shit too, as it slows perception (and the perception of bullets, thankfully) down by 99%. Sounds like a good time, right?

Well, not as much as I would've liked, honestly. Dredd delivers on pretty much all fronts of an action movie (minus the always appreciated pointless nudity), but it still didn't really resonate with me. Maybe it's because of a familiar story and main character, or maybe it's just because I'm not the same jerkoff I was in 1995 when the original came out. I mean, that kid hadn't even seen The Raid yet. But he did have some luxurious hair.

Prematurely bald and proud of it, are the Yays and Boos. They were just kids in 1995. Too young to see Kids. In 1995. Okay, I'll just stop now.

It looks cool on, but man does it f--k up your hair.
  • Karl! Good to see you! Urban is the f--king man as Judge Dredd. I was actually surprised how effective he was in spite of never seeing his incredibly handsome face. He actually emotes, using only his mouth.
  • Olivia Thirlby shockingly kicks ass as the hot mutant sidekick of Dredd. I thought this dynamic would be stupid and annoying, but Thirlby is up to snuff. And did I mention hot?
  • Drugs! Seriously, Slow Mo is the shit. Especially when you combine it with a dash of throwing someone to their death. 
  • Guns! Dredd's gun alone may be worth the price of admission. Bullets would have been cool enough, but this thing stuns and cooks heads. From the inside. Bonus points for chainguns, too. They rule.
  • Violence! Seeing a bullet rip through a cheek was the beginning. Wait till the end.
  • Ma-Ma, the crazy ass drug lord. This bitch is crazy, yo. Word is, she once feminized a guy with her teeth. I'm not sure what it means, but sign me up. 
  • Cathy, the random lady. Hey, thanks for letting us in. Oh, but sorry about your husband. We didn't mean to shoot-him-in-the-head-at-point-blank-range-as-the-result-of-a-direct-order-from-Dredd. Honest.
  • The Daywalker. Didn't anyone from the future ever see Blade? Using someone else's weapon against them can have disastrous effects. 
  • Fuk-us! Anderson is the hottest female psychic this side of the triple nipple lady from Mallrats. I'm convinced. She's got the gift.
  • And finally, the biggest Yay ever, let's all put our hands together for my f--king zombie television! Back from a cruel death at the hands of Antichrist, my wife's cousin Mark fixed our TV saving us hundreds of dollars. Suck on that, Lars.
Hey, hon. How was your first day at work?
  • I saw no third dimension. Damn it. This probably kicked ass in 3D.
  • Six Percent. The cops only respond to 6% of all reported crimes? Sounds like where I live.
  • It's unfair, really. No number of goons can handle badass Karl Urban and his psychic partner. Impossible.
  • Speaking of reading minds... Now, I know how to really piss off a psychic. Constantly imagine myself having sex with her. Though, to be honest, judging by their facial expressions, most attractive girls I've ever been around have this power as well.
  • Prisoner Guy. Okay, we're basically killing anything that moves, but we're going to march this dick up and down the biggest gunfight ever? Not buying it. Though it does help that for the first 45 minutes of the movie he is the most compliant person in the history of time. 
  • Re-entry. Finally, we get out. Phew, what a relief. What's our next move, Dredd? We're going back inside. Logical move, sir.
  • Take that, I think. There's some Judge on Judge fisticuffs here, and to be honest, I had no idea what the f--k was going on. It was like a deleted scene from a much darker version of Multiplicity. 
  • And finally, the motorcycle. Dredd, everything about you is badass. But your ride? My dad's 1982 Vespa looked more intimidating (though to be fair, it had a f--king sidecar!). 
While box office generally speaks little to the quality of the film at hand, it's interesting to note that Dredd managed around a third of what Sylvester Stallone's version pulled in years ago. Maybe they should've remade Demolition Man, instead.

Then I might finally know what the three seashells are for, damn it.


  1. Somewhat lacking a bit in the action-department, it is still a fun movie that shows that you can breath new life into old material, especially when you love the old material as much as Karl Urban seems to. Good review M.

    1. The amount of action was enough, at the end of the day I just didn't really care about any of it. I love Karl though. He's an ass kicker.

  2. I saw it today and I really liked it. It was action packed and entertaining and I loved all the slow motion moments. I'm not sure if you should sign up for feminizing with her teeth thing - I'm pretty sure she basically bit guy's dick off :D

    1. First question, did you see The Raid? Check that one out, even though it doesn't have the dreamy Karl Urban. It's crazy.

      Yeah, that's what I was thinking, but on the slim chance I was wrong, I wanted to be added to the list. You know, just in case.

    2. I didn't but I finally get to live and breathe after my exams so I'll try to watch it next week :)

      You know what I don't get? That pasty computer dude that got his eyes gauged and then had new eyes - what was the deal with that? Sure it made for gory moment but I was like - how can he see and have new eyes after that?:D

    3. Yeah. I had a couple of questions about that guy, too.

  3. Great write-up! Thought this was pretty fun. Nice high body count and it cements Urban as the real Dredd. It destroyed the Sly version.

    1. Urban seriously is the man, here. Undoubtedly crushed Sly.

      While the bloody visuals were stellar, the whole thing was just too derivative for my tastes.

    2. I definitely understand that. There were a lot of cliche's on it was similar to The Raid.