Movie Review: Dredd 3D

NB: I wrote this last night, straight when I got home. This morning it saw only slight editing, because I think I got it down pretty much as I like it. You’ll be happy to hear I cut some Karl Urban fangirling out!

It was with horrified disbelief that I received the news that Dredd wasn’t going to have a run in Finland. Yes. It’s unbelievable. There was supposed to be one show at the Night Visions festival, and that’s it. It was sold out in minutes. People were going to the theatre and asking them what they meant, not going to be there later on at all?

So they made the decision to have two more shows. Two. Tickets became available Tuesday morning.

My friend and I only got tickets thanks to an awesome friend of mine who reserved us tickets for Friday.

Because me, miss the chance to see Mr Karl Urban on the big screen? Pfft. Good one.

And holy –

I can’t think of a suitable word to continue that with. It was great. It was beautiful. It was awesome.

Here’s what IMDb says about the plot:

In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

I was expecting ass-kickery, yes, but not on this scale. It was very violent, yes, a little too violent for me, but still so very entrancing. No ammo was saved, no structure left standing when you could just blow it up. Sound effects made the floor tremble without the volume being deafening.

Karl Urban did great. When you’re supposed to be stone-faced and emotionless, I can only imagine how hard it is to build a character. He managed that. And he was funny, bless him. Olivia Thirlby, who played the trainee Anderson, was subtle and very decent. I really applaud the fact that Anderson’s special ability was used to maximum effect – sometimes it was maybe a little too convenient, but we’ll let that pass – without it becoming the point of the movie.

What is the point of the movie, then? I really can’t say. I suppose some sort of message could be dug out of it, but I’m not going to do that. This movie isn’t really about a message. It’s about entertainment made beautiful and, well, entertaining. It’s also very well sorted out in terms of length – any longer, and it would turn boring. As it is, it’s a good use of an hour and a half.

Those who have discussed films with me know perfectly well that I’m not happy with 3D. It’s not that I’m completely opposed to it; I just don’t think it works properly yet. But this experience really was positive. It’s hard to say whether it was the new 3D glasses the theatre had (lighter and better suited for us bespectacled folk) or whether the movie was just better made, but I think this one really benefitted from the 3D. Particularly the SLO-MO scenes, which I suspect were made by using that super slow motion camera (you have seen the Alan Rickman Epic Tea Time, right?), are extremely beautiful.

Let it be noted I just got back from the cinema, and my judgement (pun half intended) isn’t clearest at 2am. However, I can assure you this movie is well worth seeing, if you can handle skinned people and bullets piercing faces in slow motion, or gauging out of eyes. I just closed my eyes during those – sound effects are a sufficient cue.

His pouty face kept me giggling.

Before I go, I have to add that I absolutely loved the Clan Techie, played by Domhnall Gleeson. His eyes are so cool, and he’s an adorable little nerd.

Oh, and I also have to mention the lack of subtitles. For those who don’t know, in Finland movies are subtitled in both Finnish and Swedish. It was unbelievably good to enjoy a movie without them, as reading them is a reflex more than a need and it distracts me a great deal. And without them, you can see full frames, which is blissful.

Such a pity this won’t run for longer. I would have loved to recommend it to everyone and their grandmother.

Because it was actually rather beautiful.

Dredd 3D (2012)

Director: Pete Travis

Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey

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