There's a divided verdict on whether that archetypal dystopian judge, jury and executioner has been well-served (or otherwise) by the British fantasy actioner Dredd (2012, Entertainment, 18). A disappointment at the box office, the film nevertheless won praise from fans of the 2000Ad comic strip, who admired its gritty edge and fittingly nihilistic tone.
Certainly it does much to restore the cosmic balance after the bloated 90s misfire Judge Dredd, which replaced the comic with the comedic (who could forget Rob Schneider's tooth-grating turn as a slappably whacky sidekick?) and left audiences laughing at, rather than with, the picture.
Unlike his superstar predecessor Sly Stallone, whose face was too famous to be hidden beneath Dredd's trademark helmet, Karl Urban proudly embraces below-the-nose acting, playing it with a stiff jaw and curled upper lip, which authentically replicate the source material. Whatever its faults, Pete Travis's tightly »
- Mark Kermode
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