A few weeks ago, we shared the first full-length trailer for Dredd, which teased the film’s hyper-stylized look and hyper-violent premise. In a plot reminiscent of the popular Indonesian action movie The Raid, Judge Dredd (Karl Urban), along with a rookie Judge (Olivia Thirlby), must reach the top level of a 200-story skyscraper to take out the vicious drug kingpin Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) while fighting off her gang at each level.
While the description of the film might read like a video game, it’s an approach that Lionsgate is hoping will connect with audiences and propel the modestly-budgeted movie to box office sucess. For it to suceed, however, it’s important that director Pete Travis pull off the action sequences in a unique and compelling way. Fortunately, we have a new clip to share to help see if the action is any good.
The drug that Ma-Ma is pushing in Mega City One is called ‘Slo-Mo’ and, as the clip shows, slo-mo also plays prominently in the action. Whether or not that’s a good thing is largely up to personal opinion. While slo-mo has been put to good use in many movies, it can also be over-used – as in the Resident Evil series.
Here, Travis shows a good balance and the slo-mo makes sense. As anyone who has played Call of Duty or any other first-person shooter can attest, when Dredd breaches the door, the reactions from the people on the opposite side are almost always rendered in slow-motion. After a few gory kills, the action speeds back up. Hopefully, it’s not like that everytime, but as a one-off scene, it works well.
It’s also plain to see from the clip that Dredd director Pete Travis is really into 3D, with bullets and blood splatter practically splashing out of the screen. Again, whether that’s a good thing depends on whether you like 3D. Personally, I’m not a big fan of 3D and I don’t know that having the gore be so in-your-face is really necessary.
It’s also somewhat ironic in that the Judge Dredd character was originally intended to be a parody of characters like Dirty Harry - the tough-guy cop taken to its logical extreme. Of course, winking satire doesn’t put butts in seats, so I suppose this is the next best approach.
Dredd will be in theaters on September 21, 2012.