The team here at Zarjaz were lucky enough to be invited to the Rebellion fan screening on August 30th, where we were sat in the same row as both John Wagner ‘and’ Carlos Ezquerra. The screening went well and the film was well received by fans. We had a great time meeting friends we’ve not seen for a good while, and also meeting folk we have only ever known from the 2000 AD messageboard.
I also saw the film more recently in an ordinary screening, to help me crystallise my feelings about the film.
A fistful of Dollars
The film cost apparently in the region of 45 million to make, which in my opinion is a fairly ‘low budget’ production for a film of this type. That money was very well spent, as for me there were no obvious instances where an effect was used. The economy of production also, in my opinion leads to some of the stylistic and plot decisions made. Mega-City One is not yet the organic behemoth seen in 2000 AD, and the vehicles are more or less recognisable as being the same level of technology as we have at the moment. It also may well have been instrumental in the decision to base the majority of the film indoors.
A few dollars more
Extra budget may well have enabled the vehicles to be more akin to those in 2000 AD, and have allowed for a more expansive script but it would also have raised the bar the film would need to pass to make it commercially viable, thereby dictating that the film reach a wider audience and that would mean a lower certificate than the 18 it received in the UK.
The cast. Karl Urban really does an astounding job. As well as the vocal similarity to Clint Eastwoods delivery (Most especially for me in the scene where Dredd delivers a weapon safety lesson to a pair of juve’s) echoing Dredd’s earliest inspirations to the silent pauses and body language reminiscent of the way that modern Dredd is portrayed.
Olivia Thirlby, as Anderson has a lot riding on her character, as she is the ‘emotional heart’ of the movie. The early vulnerability she displays is important to all as it shows that Dredd is not the only style of Judge.
In fact, the whole cast was superb. Each actor was convincing in their role.
Dredd is seriously bad in this. He is every bit the faceless deliverer of justice he was envisioned. The levels of violence in the film are never played for humour- when someone gets hurt- they look hurt.
If I was to pick a flaw with the film- it would be the inclusion of a ‘Chief Judge’ as in my opinion that role would have been more suited to a ‘Sector Chief’ character, especially in light of the final scene that character is in. Imagine the President of the United States turning up with the first responders at any everyday event. How likely do you think that would be?
…and the ugly!
Overall I have to thoroughly recommend this film- I know we here at Zarjaz are more likely than most to support a film- even if it was flawed, but this surpassed all my expectations. Thanks to Rebellion for inviting us to attend the preview.