Year in Review: 2012’s Comic Book Movies

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Karl Urban in Dredd (2012) Movie Image

Dredd

Judge Dredd is a character that has to be taken seriously, and done right. The Stallone version got the look of the character and world right but not much else. The lower budgeted Pete Travis-directed version starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, and Lena Headey got it completely right. Sure the super futuristic look was gone. But it was replaced by a futuristic and real dystopia. This version of Mega City 1 was impressively bleak, and breathtakingly large. One can definitely feel a sense of hesitance and taking on day to day crime in such a massive city. And day to day crime here is murder, mayhem, drugs, dealing and more. Urban embodied the role perfectly, bringing Dredd’s scowl to life but imparting the character with just enough personality to evoke memories of a young Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. Olivia Thirlby did a fine job shouldering most of the characterization and development, as Dredd is basically the face of the Law. Lena Headey is just a great character as the ruthless Ma-Ma, and seems to relish the chance to play such a character. Comparisons to “The Raid: Redemption” are valid but this was a whole different beast, with a slight sci-fi feel. A great first installment to what I hope becomes a franchise.

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