The reboot for Judge Dredd, simply entitled Dredd has hit the U.S. theaters over the weekend. It stars Karl Urban as Judge Dredd, Olivia Thirlby as rookie judge Anderson and Lena Headey as drug lord Ma-Ma.
The difference between it and the original with Sylvester Stallone?
The reboot closely follows the source material in the 2000 AD comics. Dredd never strays from sentencing offenders with what he deems appropriate. He sees himself as the embodiment of the law and it shows. And speaking of showing, Dredd never shows his face, which stays true to the comic and one of the creator’s vision for the character.
“It sums up the facelessness of justice − justice has no soul. So it isn’t necessary for readers to see Dredd’s face, and I don’t want you to.”
–Writer and co-creator John Wagner
For actual character development and a protagonist to relate to, there’s Thirlby’s Anderson. Unlike Judge Dredd, Anderson is unsure of herself and her abilities. As a rookie, she’s constantly being tested by Dredd, and forced to make judgement calls while going through moral struggles.
The film moves forward with biting satire towards fascism and ultra-violence. It goes as far as making a satire of slow motion in movies, with a drug that gangsters inhale that makes them perceive everything in slow motion.
Stallone’s version on the other hand? It could easily be summed up in one word: campy. It took the basic premise of judges and ran in its own direction from there. It’s the Adam West of Judge Dredd.
What I’m trying to say is don’t let the original persuade you to not watch Dredd. And if you’re a fan of the comics, you better watch the film in theaters.