Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dredd 3D [2012]

MPAA (R)  CNS/USCCB (O)  Fr. Dennis (1 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing -
CNS/USCCB review -

Dredd [2012] (directed by Pete Travis, screenplay by Alex Garland) is based rather violent British comic Judge Dredd created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra.  Set in a post-Apocalyptic United States where a single crime-ridden urban wasteland extends from Boston to Washington D.C., the premise of both the Judge Dredd comic and current film is that desperate civil authorities, in as much as they continue to exist, have created a group called "the Judges" (Dredd being one of them) who have been given the power to arrest, sentence and even execute law-breakers on the spot.

Of course both in the comic and in the current film, the state of the post-Apocalyptic society is presented as being so depraved/chaotic as to justify such measures: 

In the current film, Judge Dredd (played by Karl Urban) and a rookie named Anderson (played by Olivia Thirlby) with special psychic powers are sent to investigate a "mass killing" at a giant 200 story layer-upon-layer of graffiti covered all-concrete tenement complex named "The Peach Gardens" (How's that for a truly Hellish place with an Orwellian name?).  When the two get there, they find that a grotesquely scarred ex-prostitute named Ma-Ma (played by Lena Headley) who after having taken horrible vengeance on her former pimp and having taken over the largest gang in the complex had ordered the hit as part of a vertical turf war going on in the complex (each of the major gangs in the complex controls various floors in this 200 story vertical hell hole).  Needless to say, much brutal killing (heck in the film's more expensive versions, you can even watch the mayhem in all its blood splattering glory "in 3D") ensues...

PARENTS TAKE NOTE that from the description above, it should be clear that this film fully justifies its (hard) "R" rating and I would imagine that any video game based on this film would probably a similar "M" rating as well.  Basically, the film is _not_ for "your 8-10 year old" ... and I honestly can't imagine any desperate reason why any under-aged teen would "need" to see this film or play the game.

That said, the film "does tell a story" and while I don't see any particular reason why even an adult would want to spend a particularly long time focused on this kind of story line (we are formed by what we choose to spend our energies on), I wouldn't want to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to ban, protest or complain about a story, comic, film or video game like this.  Yes, it's pretty grotesque stuff.  But after naming it for what it is (pretty grotesque...), and averting others as to what they'd be in for if they went to see it, I'd honestly just presume to go onto something more positive...

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