Second Opinion – Dredd 3D (2012)

Dredd 3D, 2012.

Directed by Pete Travis.
Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Langley Kirkwood, Wood Harris, Luke Tyler, Junior Singo, Jason Cope, Domhnall Gleeson and Rakie Ayola.


A feared lawman takes on a vicious gang of drug dealers in the sprawling urban jungle of Mega City One.

Anyone who thought the 1995 Sylvester Stallone big screen version of Judge Dredd was bad need to thank all that’s holy that they may never see this new incarnation. I would make a pun and say it’s Dredd-ful, but the truth is that it’s utter trash from quite literally the first frame to the last.

From the first time we see the shockingly poor 3D this film was losing my interest; by the time the opening action sequence had reached its needless bloody conclusion, I knew exactly where this film was heading; by the time the film was 30 minutes old, I had made up my mind this was a stinker. However, by the film’s conclusion I had decided that it had not one single redeeming feature. It’s a rare quality in a film, but somehow Dredd managed to do it.

The film tries achingly hard to be tough by filling the screen with blood and the dialogue with F-bombs but it just comes across as nasty and grim and wholly unenjoyable. How anyone can find entertainment in an action movie or comic book movie that revels and delights in showing almost pornographic bloodlust is beyond me. I’m all for on screen violence and destruction, but only when it’s done well and not presented just for the sake of showing something gross. It’s an example of modern cinema at its very worst.

Aside from the tastelessness of it all, the story is plain boring and is a complete cop out in comparison to what a story of Judge Dredd could have been. We see very little of Mega City One; instead the action takes place in a block of flats that could have been set on a council estate in Stoke rather than the futuristic world of the comic books. The action scenes are woefully uninspired and painfully unoriginal to the point that anyone who cares must never have seen a film before in their life. Moreover, anyone who saw The Raid will get a terrible sense of déjà vu as the story is almost identical to that far superior film.

Bear in mind this film features a drug called Slo-Mo which give the director a reason to – you guessed it – slow the film down to about two hundred frames per second in an attempt to look ‘cool’ over and over again. It’s really amateur stuff and executed as badly as I’ve seen at the cinema.

Many people hated that Dredd took off his helmet in the Stallone film (and rightly so) but in this new film the character is, if anything, explored even less. He has absolutely zero characteristics to set him apart from any other touch guy with a gun and because of that this film is a total failure where the Stallone film wasn’t. At least the 1995 film tried to have some fun and give the audience something to enjoy with some decent set design, costumes, practical effects, and showing off the Lawgiver to its full effect. This new version is too obsessed with blood and guts to even give the title character a chance to shine.

There is nothing to recommend in the entire 95 minute running time and the fact that it’s the worst 3D I have had the misery of sitting through just made the whole ordeal even worse. I could go on about the framing and the object in the foreground but I just want to put this attack on my sensibility behind me.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★

Rohan Morbey – follow me on Twitter.

Around the Web

  • phillyd

    Wrong! It was not post treated, it was filmed with 3d cameras.

  • Tom

    This film is a cult classic in the making and your poor opinions only make it grow better! Dredd is the law!!!!

  • darren maher

    Is it possible that a council estate in Stoke might be the excact, right place to tell your story?– not many of the audience are likely to live in Asgard, Krypton, or some equivelant Arcadia: Tatooine was relatable because it wasn't really anywhere… in order for the notion of 'Judge,Jury and Executioner' to be an acceptable one to an audience they don't need Fritz Lang's

  • BOB

    enjoyed this movie very gritty could acheive more with a slight western twist would like to see more of this

  • stansfilmposterz

    Clown….you obviously haven't ever read a Dredd story in your life. Get back to Pride & Prejudice or some shit like that as it's probably right up your street. I am a fan and always have been since a kid and still read weekly today aged 43 and although havent seen it yet will be on Monday and going by the other reviews I have read (Quite a few) I am expecting to see a movie that is

  • Bane

    When I was about 13 I wrote a scathing review of a school play in which I stubbornly refused to acknowledge any merits whatsoever, purely because I held a grudge against some of the people in the play. I submitted it to the school magazine but it was rejected on the grounds of being immature. This review is remarkably similar to the review I wrote all those years ago, from the childishly outraged

  • Amos

    Wow this is probably the worst review I have ever read. Did you even do any research to find out that the movie wasn't post converted? Also, you think the film looked amateurish? The cinematography was done by Anthony Todd Mantle, the oscar winner who did a little movie called Slumdog Millionare.

  • karl

    you're stupid. the slower the slo-motion the HIGHER the frames per second it was shot in. What are you, 12 years old or just completely ignorant of filmmaking, because that's some day one shit right there dude.

  • RicheyJ

    This is not so much a review as a list of every single aspect of the movie, with each aspect accompanied by a comment about how much the reviewer dislikes it. The views expressed are backed with no evidence save for lazy comparisons that clearly reflect the reviewer&#39;s prejudices more than anything else. <br /><br /><br />I was actually undecided about seeing this movie because the hundreds of

  • Judge Steve

    So lets&#39; get this straight… You criticize the reviewer for disliking a movie that you haven&#39;t even seen yet? That either makes you a major, major fanboy (who&#39;s lying about the fact you had no intention of seeing it), or just a twat. I&#39;m guessing it&#39;s a bit of both.

  • Diddums

    A 43 year old man crying because someone has criticized a movie they haven&#39;t even seen yet…

  • AV

    You sir, are either a troll or a fucking retard. Or am I repeating myself?

  • RicheyJ

    It&#39;s true that I was a big fan of the comic book in my earlier years and I like the idea of a Dredd movie done well. I wouldn&#39;t have read this review if I had no interest in Dredd. I am still quite sceptical about the film mainly because I didn&#39;t really like the look of the trailer, but reading both favourable and negative reviews has persuaded me that it is worth seeing. Regarding

  • Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and everyone is entitled to disagree, hence the reason we operate a comments system. However (and this isn&#39;t aimed at you personally RicheyJ) the comments system isn&#39;t here to launch personal attacks against people whose views differ from your own, be it writers or other commenters, by referring to them as twats, retards, or other childish insults.<

  • I actually disagree with this review myself, enjoyed the film, but I must say, Judge Dredd doesn&#39;t operate in a council estate in Stoke, he operates in Mega City One, and if I had one criticism about the film, it&#39;s that it doesn&#39;t do justice to the city at all. <br /><br />Your comment doesn&#39;t make much sense to me… are you saying that every film should be set present day Earth

  • darren maher

    The point ( I clearly failed to make) was that I was more than pleased about the depiction of the Big Meg as &#39;chav-central&#39; rather than the 5th-element style- I felt it was a crucial element to portraying the desperate, anarchic tone of a city, in which the judge system makes sense. <br />The traditional Meg: the pumped up &#39;Heavy-Metal&#39; scale and the ubiquitous air-borne traffic,

  • darren maher

    The style of the review begs an angered response: so much so, that it&#39;s hard to believe that it&#39;s unintentional. Certainly, if a more positive review also recieved critical comments on this site, then the resulting outrage here can hardly be said to be unexpected.<br /> Is it possible, do you think, that that the fault lies not with the &#39;sad&#39; commentors and contributors so much as

  • I see your point. Personally, I was disappointed by the scale, but I guess you can&#39;t expect too much with a budget that&#39;s a fraction of your typical Hollywood blockbuster.

  • If a glowing 4 star review receives critical comments, then it tells me that the people commenting would criticise any review that dared to proclaim it as anything less than the best film of the year, and have no doubt &#39;trolled&#39; every review on the internet picking apart even the smallest of criticisms. <br /><br />As for this review, like I&#39;ve said, people are entitled to criticise

  • SmallBlueThing

    Hmm. When I read a review like this, I&#39;m often forced to imagine the reviewer leaving the cinema in a tearful, snotty whirlwind of upset and hatred and horrified offense at the &quot;state of films today&quot;, running back to the safety of his or her abode and the things that comfort them, counting the spoons in their drawer to calm down, and then deciding to blame the film for making them

  • darren maher

    If a glowing 4 star review receives critical comments, then that just tells me I&#39;m on the internet, but I do agree with you that simplistic derogatory statements are meaningless ( whether in a comment-box or couched by Mr Morbey as critical analysis). <br />On the topic of whether people commenting have actually seen it, it has been on release in Spain, the UK, and Ireland since the 7th: so

  • RicheyJ

    I don&#39;t see how not seeing the movie disqualifies me from finding fault with a review of the movie. After all, the point of a movie review is to help someone like me form an informed opinion as to whether or not to shell out my cash to see it. And what is basically a monotonous list of things the reviewer didn&#39;t like about the movie is no help to me at all.<br /><br /><br />As for the

  • Jimbob

    Wow I thought reading this highly venomous review that I was reading a daily mail article or an app review on iTunes that clearly had inadvertently been the cause of death of a member of the reviewers family to take it so personally! I actually thought it was quite good. Not an all time classic of all time but a lean well crafted action film with a dark edge. Though it seems that the reviewer

  • Sam

    I agree. The reviewer has drawn a line in the sand. Either you&#39;re with me and don&#39;t like it or I don&#39;t get you. Reminds me of the Daily Mail Kick Ass/ Dark Kinght reviews. Love reading them when I want a laugh! I enjoyed the film but I&#39;m not a big Dredd fan to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised at how real it felt. I can understand someone not liking it, that&#39;s fine but to

  • Jimbob

    Don&#39;t worry we&#39;ll let the reviewer know when they remake Flipper 😉

  • Sam / Jimbob – please stop talking to yourself under different user <br />names. Unless of course by some massive coincidence you both happen to <br />be using the same IP address without actually knowing each other.

  • Sam

    Brothers dude. Unless as brothers we aren&#39;t allowed to post opinions? I thought James&#39; review was funny cos it&#39;s true but there ya go!

  • Jimbob

    Err I never said I didn&#39;t know him?

  • Sam

    Stop posting!! You&#39;re just helping this useless page get more hits and shenanigans!

  • Don&#39;t worry, we only get one hit per unique visitor.

  • Ice9

    What a terrible review! <br /><br />No explanation why he dislikes things. Worst 3D (bu why?). he knows where it&#39;s going (which is where?) and no logic at all, even. This review just smacks of pettiness – like someone was determined to bring it down because – for example – all the positive reviews wound him up.<br /><br />That he has NOTHING positive to say and only EXTREMELY negative things

  • Monkone

    Wow. I read this review after seeing the film and at first I just chuckled at what I thought was a troll blog post.<br /><br />But now I really can&#39;t tell.<br /><br />Is this serious? It&#39;s one thing to not like a film and write a scathing review, it&#39;s quite another to write… whatever it is you&#39;ve written here.<br />There comes a point where you cross the line from being honest

  • Wow, Dredd rape your mother bro?

  • steve

    Thanks! Someone else with discerning taste. As a Dredd reader for more than three decades, I have not liked this production since its inception. This is not Dredd. This is one mistake after the other.

  • Van Roberts

    Caught a proofreading error. Touch guy should be tough guy. Nevertheless, a good review. I agree entirely with your judgement.