Two new Dredd 3D TV spots have been released by Lionsgate this week, giving us further insight into the reboot of the beloved 2000 AD character, created by John Wagner and Carlos Esquerra.
This time around, Karl Urban is Dredd and Dredd is the Law, a Judge who wields lethal force in a city where the Judges are the only thing keeping the city from falling into chaos. Shrugging off his Dr. McCoy light touch, Urban snarls through the spots, channelling his inner Eastwood as the always helmeted Judge, Jury and Executioner of Mega City One.
The spots show us a bit more of the city, a post-nuclear megalopolis with 800 million people living in the ruins of an old world, and some slick looking action featuring Dredd’s fabled Law Giver, a gun that can shoot a variety of bullets on command: ricochet, incendiary, etc. Vantage Point (2008) director Pete Travis calls the shots here, from a script by 28 Days Later and Sunshine writer Alex Garland.
Fans of the British comic book hope that the new film serves to erase bad memories of Danny Cannon’s big budget Judge Dredd (1995) starring Sylvester Stallone. Despite a promising opening few minutes and the presence of the Angel gang, the film flopped badly, abandoning the comic book’s darkly satiric humour and having Dredd abandon Mega City One for much of the film. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also takes his helmet off and (ahem) fall in love.
First reactions to Dredd 3D via Comic Con have been widely positive, with some comparison to The Raid: Redemption, with which it shares a plot about busting a drug gang who rule a tower block. The drug Queenpin here is Ma Ma Madrigal, a scarred Lena Headey fresh from her villainous scheming as Cersei in Season 2 of Game of Thrones.
Madrigal is dealing in a new drug called Slo-Mo which slows down time to a cinematically pleasing Matrix-style bullet time. Dredd, accompanied by rookie Cassandra Anderson, played by Olivia Thirlby, go in to off the bad guys, blow stuff up and hand out judgement.
Due out in little under a month, fans of violent futuristic noir who want to get even more excited can check out the spots below.
Dredd 3D hits theatres on September 21st, 2012.