My final movie for Action Month is, in my humble opinion, one of the best all out action movies of the last decade... and NOBODY went to see it!
The idea was to bring back something no one was really asking for in 'Judge Dredd'. The original Stallone film had its fans, but for the most part, it was seen as pretty bad. Therefore, when this was coming up, no one seemed to pay much attention to it. However, once it was released on home video (all too quickly), word got around that this was actually a really cool action flick.
This one takes place in a dystopian future where the metropolis' police force have been given the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner due to the massive increases in the cities violence and overall crime. Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) has been teamed up with a rookie named Anderson (Olivia Thirlby); a mutant with psychic abilities. Together, they are sent to take down a gang leader and drug lord named "Mama" (Lena Headey).
The drug in question is "slo-mo", a narcotic that makes it seem like time slows down to super slow motion, and the effects make everything look sparkly and shiny. It's very often portrayed throughout the film, almost to a fault, unfortunately. But, it's a neat effect when it's all put together.
With that said, though, that's pretty much your plot in a nutshell. From there, it acts as another "non-video game movie" (the concept I brought up when talking about 'John Wick' in which a movie feels like it could be based on a video game) It's quite literally an hour and a half of nonstop action, only pausing to fit in the necessary dialogue. And for as quick as it moves, there's actually plenty of character development going on as we go, namely in the character of Anderson.
If I was to compare this to anything, I'd probably compare it most closely with something like 'The Raid: Redemption' with hints of 'Die Hard'. It's just one of those movies that brings back the idea of action for the sake of action, but while having a good, simple story going on. It's even complete with one-liners, reminiscent of Schwarzenegger's work... okay, maybe that's a stretch, but still, enjoyably cheesy and bad ass.
If you've ever watched 'Judge Dredd' and thought to yourself "hey, this is rated R but feels like PG-13", this is a movie that absolutely lends itself to its R rating. It's brutally violent, often in slow motion, the language is nice and Headey's character can very well be compared to her Cersei Lannister. Mama is a little more quick and to the point though. Either way, I have to hand it to Lena Headey for doing such a good job with her villains.
But what about Karl Urban as Judge Dredd? To be frank, it's not like I really know how the character is supposed to be portrayed, but for my money, he does a good job with what he has. It makes me think of Christian Bale's Batman. It's a great series with great storytelling and great characters, but there's still something kinda goofy about the lead character. And that's not necessarily a bad thing in this case, 'cause I think there's a part of this movie that's self-aware. It knows how the last movie did, so it's allowed to be a bit silly here and there. In any case, it's a nice and short, shoot-'em-up good time of a movie. Just bear in mind that the violence can get a little over the top, and to have some patience with the slo-mo scenes. If I have one complaint at all, it's that those went on far too long. But I mean, that's about it.