Judge Dredd 2012 movie.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Trekker4747, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Friend of mine bought this for a few bucks at a second-hand hand store the other night so we sat down and watched it together last night. Now, I'm not too much a fan of the character (this particular genre/type of hero/anti-hero/comic character doesn't much appeal to me) and I've seen the 1990s Stallone movie which.... Well the less said the better. (Though I'm curious now to give it another look.)

    Anyway, I really enjoyed this new Carl Urban movie and take on the character/world. Interesting premise and story and good use of a female character/hero without exactly making her pure eye candy. Overall I liked the movie and thought it was good fun, shame the movie apparently wasn't too much of a financial success making a sequel unlikely.
     
  2. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I thought the Stallone version was pretty cool, actually. Then again, I've never read the comics.
     
  3. Tiny Timby

    Tiny Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    I could go on for pages about the brilliance of Dredd, but the most important thing to remember when reading it is that Judge Dredd isn't the film's protagonist (he's just as much of the setting as Mega-City One itself): Anderson is.
     
  4. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Hmmm. Never thought of it that way. Makes sense.

    Anyway, on the one hand I'm glad the movie was Rated-R as it allowed it to go all-out on the blood and violence. On the other hand, had it been Rated-PG13 it may have had a bit better BO take.
     
  5. Tiny Timby

    Tiny Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    Dredd was never going to have a large box office. It was a small-budget adaptation of a niche comic strip with very little U.S. exposure that was released with zero advertising.

    In any event, the over-the-top violence is what allowed for the best touches of the film, like the calm PA voice announcing that the food court is closed and refreshments are available elsewhere because a violent criminal started murdering up the food court.

    The great aspect of the film is that it's just a day in the life. The one thing Anderson should have failed for was losing her primary weapon, but Dredd passes her because the gun isn't her primary weapon. Learning this is the closest Dredd will likely ever really come to growth (and it should be troubling, because the police state has just realized it now has an even more powerful tool than a gun -- if anything, Dredd gets worse, as his old-school Dirty Harry tactics are "modernized" with Anderson's techniques, and there's something sinister about the rule of the gun being supplanted by this sinister new "soft" oppression).

    Meanwhile, everything else goes on. Nothing really changes. (Even Dredd's monologue at the end is the same as the one at the beginning.)
     
  6. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I liked Dredd, though I have to admit that I liked it even more the first time around when it was called The Raid.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What an entirely unique and astute observation! I'm sure nobody has ever thought of it before.

    ...Also it's an entirely bogus comparison since outside of the general premise, Dredd and Raid are nothing alike.





    Besides, the first time I saw The Raid, it was called Die Hard. :p
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I thought it was a good film for what it was. This kind of violence isn't something I like, but the film was very creatively directed and executed and there were some very imaginative visuals. The director, I gather, was trying to make ultraviolence beautiful, and while I don't think that's entirely possible or desirable, I do respect the technical and artistic ingenuity that went into it.

    I was surprised by how ethical Dredd was in his way. He killed without remorse when he believed it was necessary, but refused to kill a suspect unless he was 100 percent certain of guilt. True, the fundamental flaw in his reasoning is that you can never been 100 percent sure of guilt or innocence, and that being both arresting officer and judge and jury is a conflict of interest that makes an objective judgment impossible, so the whole system is fundamentally unjust. But while Dredd makes the mistake of trusting the system, he's nonetheless scrupulously ethical in his obedience to its rules, and even shows some moments of willingness to bend the rules ever so slightly for the greater good, like when he lets the kids go.

    The ending didn't work for me at all, though.
    Why would Ma-Ma's deadman switch be neutralized just by dropping it out of range of the receiver? The very nature of a deadman switch is that a device is activated when it stops receiving a continuous signal. So cutting off the signal by dropping it out of range should have set off the bomb and killed everyone, not saved everyone.

    I think they set up an interesting situation -- the infamously lethal Judge is faced with a conundrum that can't be solved by bloodshed -- and squandered the opportunity to show him rising to the challenge and finding an alternative solution, a way to neutralize Ma-Ma without stopping her heart. I know one can't expect Dredd to develop a sense of mercy, but just letting him prove he was intelligent enough to solve a problem outside his wheelhouse would've been a nice growth moment for the character.
     
  9. Tiny Timby

    Tiny Timby LIKE LIGHTNIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING Administrator

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    Right. Dredd was written and filmed about a year before The Raid entered production; when Gareth Evans, the director of The Raid, saw the first trailer for Dredd, his reaction was essentially, "Oh, shit, we need to get this movie out."
     
  10. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I guess it's lucky for Dredd then,
    that evidently, Ma-Ma's device was not the kind that sent a continous signal to the explosive, but one that sent a signal only if her heart stopped. There's nothing in the film to discount her device working that way. Nothing I can remember, at least. :)
     
  11. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^This is one of the main things that showed that the filmmakers "got" who and what Dredd is about and exemplifies how faithful they were to the comics.

    One of Dredd's defining characteristics is that he's a true believer in justice but at the same time, he's not blind to the weaknesses of the system. Quite the contrary, in the comics the only reason he's still a judge at all (having already taken the Long Walk) is because he doesn't trust the system not to deteriorate into a chaotic oblivion (which says something, giving the nominal status of Mega City One is about five and a half steps beyond pandemonium!)

    IIRC he (privately) refers to the whole thing as the "big lie."

    I admit, it's a handwave but...
    the only way I see it working like this is if it's a type of deadman switch that only transmits a detonate signal when the sensor fails to detect a pulse. So dropping it out of range would essentially neutralise it. I'd like to think this clearly flawed design was cooked up but that techie/mutant kid as a way of sticking it to her, but it must be a known thing since Dredd clocked it's function at a glance. Maybe it's meant to function as a medical device? Something they pilfered from the bloc infirmary, like say a remote monitor to track when terminal cases and oldsters have expired in their apartments so they can send in the droids for clean-up and transport to resyk?

    Honestly though, it's probably just something we're not meant to think too much about. ;)
     
  12. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that's silly. It's missing the whole point of a deadman switch. I mean, think about it.
    The purpose was to hold everyone in the building hostage to ensure that she wouldn't be killed. If the switch only triggers the bomb if it sends out a signal, then it could be prevented from doing so by destroying the switch -- and anything that destroyed the switch would presumably destroy Ma-Ma as well. So if she did design the deadman switch to work that way, it was a completely stupid and self-defeating way of going about it. The way it's supposed to work is that it sends a continuous signal whose cessation triggers the bomb -- that's the only way it can actually fulfill its intended purpose of ensuring that Ma-Ma stays alive.

    So either the filmmakers made a big mistake, or the character did. Either way, it's a stupid contrivance and a major conceptual flaw in the film's climax.
     
  14. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Not sure why we're spoiler-coding a movie that's over a year old but, okay. Anyway, I agree with Christopher I was a bit confused by the ending too and unsure why the dead-man switch didn't work like it should have.

    I just assumed it was a bluff or something on her part, there were no explosives in the building.
     
  15. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Yes it’s an annoying fallacy that Dredd is a rip off of The Raid given it was in production way before the Raid, and even if it had been, no one knew The Raid was going to be anything other than a straight to DVD Kung-Fu flick until after production had wrapped on Dredd.

    Like you say, effectively it’s Die Hard to a large extent, but even Die Hard isn’t that original really, you could go back to Alistair MacLean’s Golden Rendezvous for example. Yes it’s set on a boat not in a tower block but the premise is similar, and there are probably lots of other examples.

    Dredd is a fantastic film. Admittedly I say that as a fan of the comics. It has a few issues, it never quite feels futuristic enough, and a big part of Dredd’s world is the comic and ludicrous, neither of which are much in evidence here, and Anderson’s pithy wit’s missing too, although I’m being churlish because really it’s the best Dredd film we’ll probably ever get (short of taking 80/85% of Dredd and 15/20% of the Stallone film and sticking them in a celluloid blender ;)

    Urban is fantastic as Dredd, and Thirlby makes a great Anderson, a fantastic female protagonist who doesn’t really need Dredd to save her, and I love the interplay.

    Dredd: “Been wondering when you'd remember you left your helmet behind.”
    Anderson: “Sir, a helmet can interfere with my psychic abilities.”
    Dredd: “Think a bullet might interfere with them more.”

    Shame we won’t get a sequel…although there is campaign that’s been running for a while with a petition, and they also organised a Day of Dredd where people were encouraged to buy the DVD/Blu-ray on a single day.

    I haven’t given up hope, it is a film that’s gaining an audience all the time. We had a thread many months back and a lot of people said they’d watched it not expecting very much, or not knowing what to expect, and had really enjoyed it. I dunno, if Riddick can get a third film maybe Dredd can get a second…
     
  16. Pingfah

    Pingfah Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Dredd is becoming a serious cult hit, and deservedly so. I would not be at all surprised to see a similarly budgeted sequel.

    They actually just reran it at my local arts center, and got Jock, one of the 2000AD illustrators and the conceptual artist for the movie in to give a talk, it was a big hit.
     
  17. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ma-Ma is shown to not always be a cautious forward thinker. Not to mention, some people work for her under fear of death...maybe the guy who installed it never even bothered to connect it.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Even if that's true in-universe, it's still a lazy copout by the writers, a way to cheat by giving Dredd an easy out that was supposed to be impossible under the circumstances. I don't want the existing ending rationalized or handwaved, I want a better ending. If the story requires you to make excuses for it, then it's not a good enough story.
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Very true, Chris.

    I do hope a cult-following can ignite a sequel. Maybe this time Dredd and Anderson can be stuck in airport that's being taken hostage on Christmas Eve! ;)

    After reading some things it seems that maybe the factor that hurt the movie the most was the 3D aspect and showings apparently pushing that version more than the 2D version.
     
  20. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    It was a 3D movie with plenty of 3D tricks in it and I didn't realize it til I saw Ma-Ma fall into the camera that it was a trick. It's really not that good oa movie IMO.