Yesterday the mood finally struck me to watch Dredd, the 2012 re-hash of the 2000AD comic book hero. Fortunately, yes, it was better than Stallone’s original incarnation. But the film has been the subject of a lot scrutiny since it basically has the exact same plot as The Raid, which is probably the best action film of the decade leaving Dredd with a rather high standard to reach. It’s unfortunate that Dredd was actually in development before The Raid ever was but its release date came afterwards and therefore doesn’t feel original.
Going in I thought the stories couldn’t be exactly the same, surely. But I was shocked by how few differences there were, they might as well have used the same script just with different actors. Perhaps that’ a slight over exaggeration but I’m sure you understand what I’m saying. The differences to be found in Dredd, however, are some of the most interesting parts of the film. In particular the new drug, Slow-Mo which makes the brain see things at 1 per cent their normal speed, it sets up a number of brilliant set pieces and super slow motion shoot-outs. The problem, again, is that the action is nowhere near the level of The Raid and while normally you wouldn’t expect anything be that mind-bogglingly awesome Dredd is fighting a losing battle as it is so similar.
In fact it’s very hard to give it a fair trial, I enjoyed watching but I’d never watch it again because I’d just watch The Raid, if it had come out before it may well have been a much more entertaining watch but I still feel as though even if The Raid did come out after Dredd it would still shit all over it. Let’s be clear Dredd is much better than the Stallone and a much better portrayal of the Judge himself and a well-made action picture but it seems to have been cursed by the worst luck possible, let’s hope it’s not the final nail in the coffin for big screen adaptations though, there’s so much potential in Mega City One.