So, it seems that the Dredd movie has now left cinemas nationwide and we’ve not been to see it, and I’ve been trying to put my finger on why. On the face of it I should have been at the front of the queue. I was the proud possessor of a Tharg’s Space Spinner, the free gift with issue one of 2000AD and pretty much read it every week until the early 90’s. I also read every issue of the Megazine released in the period and collected Crisis too. I felt let down by the Stallone effort of a movie and still believe that I could write something better. So when the new movie started to get rave previews and reviews why didn’t we go and see it?
One reason is the staggeringly small option to see it in 2D rather than the godawful 3D they keep insisting on making films in these days. I don’t like the experience of 3D films, I don’t like the glasses and I don’t feel immersed. In fact I usually find that 3D films focus much more on the special effects to the detriment of acting and story. Given the option I’d rather see any film in 2D.
This, however, is no excuse for missing a well-received film based on a childhood hero, there must be something more. For this I blame the trailers. Yes Karl Urban looks the part and yes the action and violence are gloriously over the top. Both of these are ticks for a Dredd film, although the plot seems wafer thin and totally unworthy. A drugs lord? Really? With all the rich heritage that 2000AD has to offer by way of suitable plots for blockbuster films they choose an almost non specific drugs lord plot. Considering the rich heritage 2000AD has built for the dour Judge the holes then seem to flow thick and fast; that’s not Dredd’s uniform, that’s not a Lawmaster, that’s not a Lawgiver, and that, most certainly, is not Mega City One.
My memories of Dredd are of a dour, stoic, black and white figure up against a brash, loud, over the top, and most importantly, mental city. The buildings, the vehicles, the population, the alien zoo, the insane crimes; I couldn’t find any in the trailers and have heard nothing of them in the reviews. Mega City One is a metropolis of sky surfers, bat gliders, blobs, fatties, apes, aliens, mo-pads and more. Perhaps this reveals more about me than old Joe Dredd himself, maybe I was always more a fan of his city, of his environment, of his world.
It occurs to me that we may have missed out in not going to see Dredd at the cinema, after all the reviews have been glowing. Perhaps I was wrong to Dredd it.