Friday, January 11, 2013


Tomorrow I'll be in Seattle, but tonight I'm in Singapore, watching Dredd.

It's better than the Stallone version, (partly because it's not got Stallone in it). However, it's a bit grim: there are lots of bright colours, but it's full of painful bloody violence and not the cynical idiocy of the comics.

It's not crowded enough though. I don't know if that's because I'm too used to the volume of humanity in Singapore and Hong Kong. Not every block is a vertical city, and the roads aren't full of vehicles. The lower levels of the blocks that you see are like some of the more run-down shopping malls in Singapore, but with fewer people milling around.

Going upstairs it starts to feel like Judge Dredd is trapped in a block of flats in Sham Shui Po, and then the shooting starts and it's more as though we're watching The Raid.It feels lile slightly more plot has been included than in that Indonesian beat-everyone-to-a-pulp-a-thon, or at least we haven't reached a bit where somebody thinks it's a good idea to have a thirty minute punch up.

But the gore, and the swearing! (Because it was a comic, the original Dredd had all sorts of made-up swearing, which is somehow preferable to the continuous shits and fucks that the script is laden with.)Psi-Judge Anderson should have straight hair, rather than a slightly shaggy mop, but then Keith Urban doesn't have an ego so big that he can't keep his helmet on, one of the major flaws of the Stallone film.

The Judge uniforms are almost perfect versions of the comic book, (which leads to some confusion in a couple of the fight scenes as they all look the same) although Dredd's bike is incredibly naff. I suppose the problem is that Christopher Nolan ripped off the Dredd bikes lock, stock and barrel for the Batbike, but it's hard to have him drive a vehicle with proportionately-sized wheels. Damn you, occasional realism.

I miss the fatties, though, and the ludicrous fashion victims of the comics. Aside from those things, it's a pretty good realisation of the Dredd world. Shame there wasn't space to fit in Mean Machine and the rest of the Angel Gang. Wait for the sequel?


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