23 September 2012

Time for Judgement

I saw a crime happening once...
It was about 2:00 in the morning, I was sitting at the computer and rain was beating heavily against the window. I was probably searching for porn when in the corner of my eye I noticed a flash of light. Initially I assumed it was lighting but there was suspiciously no sound of thunder. I was about to ignore it when there was a second flash, and then a third. I looked out of the window to investigate and was stunned with what I saw.

Walking down the road was a young couple who had been caught in the rain. Because of how wet it was, the girl had done what any classy dame would and stripped completely off. There was another flash of light and I realised it was, assumedly, her boyfriend- he was walking ahead and taking pictures. Only a few seconds later, they'd turned the corner and were gone. I don't know what happened to them after that, but I'd have loved to have seen the photos the next day. Excited to see proof of their mischief, they'd have opened the photographs and then noticed it- in the background of every single shot would be my face pressed up against the window, breathing and drooling. I'm aware that wandering the streets with your clam-flaps out is illegal, but frankly it's a law that I feel needs revising.

One man who wouldn't have been seduced by this naked marathon of criminality is Judge Joseph Dredd. Dredd 3D is the latest film to be released about the fascist rozzer of the future and the first in which he's depicted by a fully evolved human. He received his original cinematic outing in 1995 when he was famously portrayed by the dopey-faced humanzee, Sylvester Stallone. Unfortunately the film was notoriously crap and further proof that Mongy Kong should stick to making his Rocky movies. They're crap too but at least he can successfully take a punch to the head without a risk of any long term damage.

Dredd is of course a reboot for the character who is now being played by Karl Urban. Not that you can tell of course as the character rightly spends the entire film with his face hidden from view. Considering how iconic his helmet is, to not have Judge Dredd wear it is a bit like having Indiana Jones without his whip or Lisbeth Salander without her anti-rape dildo. Of course this was therefore one of the many errors of 95's Judge Dredd in which Stallone spent the whole movie offending viewers with the sight of his Deliverence-esque face. In contrast however, Urban luckily proves himself to be very good at mouth acting by gurning himself up the cool list like a pissed off Popeye on bathsalts. His trick in projecting pure menace and cool seems to be simply fixing his lips to a grimace that suggests he's about to shit out a watermelon but then clenching tight, until his balls hurt. I actually did something very similar the other week by trying to force out a crap that I didn't really need. In the end I pushed so hard that my face turned bright red and I accidentally puked in my mouth.

Anyway, so the film starts with a brief history of Mega-City One. It has a population of 800 million people and a crime problem almost as serious as modern day Manchester. As a result, certain law enforcers have been granted the privilege of Judge Judy and Executioner. Dredd is one of those trigger happy authoritarians and one who has just been given the task of observing a new recruit called Judge Anderson played by Juno's Olivia Thirlby. Anderson is a young female mutant who, like all women, thinks she can read your mind and attempts to prove it by deducing that a criminal is picturing her naked. Although being honest, it probably doesn't take magic powers to know that anybody in Olivia Thirlby's company is thinking about shagging her.

Unlike famous British bullshitter Sally Morgan however, Anderson is an actual psychic and not just a manipulative cunt who takes advantage of vulnerable members of the public. So far my favourite Sally Morgan video is where she holds up a photograph of an old person and asks a member of the audience if the pensioners name was Bernard. The audience member then corrects Sally the Charlatan by informing her that it's actually their Nan. I'd hate to imply that all “psychics” are evil fakes like Sally Morgan is because that's obviously not true. At least a couple of them are probably mental too.

So Dredd and Anderson are called to a tower block to investigate the death of several junkies. It seems that this area has been flooded with a new substance known as Slo-Mo which has to be the most boring drug ever invented. I've never taken ecstasy but I hear it hippies you up with temporary joy and happiness, making music and people more tolerable. Slo-Mo however simply makes the brain perceive things at one percent its normal rate, which is a bit like watching Sex and the City 2 whilst trying not to fall asleep after a horribly failed attempt at masturbation. Despite the violence of Dredd, I ironically found that 2010 tart-a-thon to be a lot more morally offensive with its ignorant undertones of sexism and racism. Also, Sarah Jessica Parker spent far too long trotting around without a jockey for me to take it seriously. Every time her character referred to her writings, I wasn't sure if she was after a Pulitzer or a sugar cube. I'm currently in the middle of writing a fanscript for Sex and the City 3 which consists simply of a five minute visit to the glue factory followed by a round of applause. The encouraging thing is that I'm yet to type anything up and already my blank script is more insightful than the crayon-and-shit-smeared screenplay of the first two movies combined.

Anyway unfortunately for Dredd and Anderson, the tower block in which they are investigating is run by a powerful gang leader known as Ma-Ma. Once she gets wind of their presence, she has the building locked down and orders her people to kill the two Judges. The rest of the film from this point on simply consists of Dredd and the rookie trying not to die as waves of tooled up residents head straight for them. It's kind of like walking into a busy high-street, finding a random stranger and then shouting, “there's the paedophile”. Within minutes the unfortunate cunt will be running for his life as each member of the public unquestionably chases after him with bricks and knives

There appears to be one big problem with the plot of Dredd and that is that it's apparently near identical to that of The Raid. Not only that, but from what I hear, The Raid may well be one of the best action movies of recent years. Of course nobody is accusing either film of copying the other with it obviously being just one of those things. Dredd's cameras may have been rolling almost five months earlier but The Raid was released first. Luckily for me though I'm yet to see that superior film and so was able enjoy the genius of Dredd free from the curse of comparison. Not only that but I've got another even better film apparently still to watch. It's kind of like fucking someone in the folds of their fat and then finding out afterwards that there's still a vagina to explore. I definitely had fun the first time and so can't wait for the the superior experience.

Dredd has several other things making it brilliant, with the most obvious being the character himself. Judge Dredd may well be a monosyllabic, unlikeable cunt but he's also fucking cool. Steven Seagal has been larding his way through action movies for years and he's never said anything even half as cool as any one of Dredd's three lines. “Ma-Ma's not the Law- I'm the Law”, may sound like something from an inevitably explosive remake of Psycho by Michael Bay, but here it becomes Dredds equivalent of, “Make my day, punk”. In the world of red tape and bureaucracy that we live in, it's nice to see a man of action. I think when Dredd shoots a flare into a criminals mouth causing his face to melt off, we get the impression that that's exactly what he is. Dredd isn't quite the kind of guy who shoots first and asks questions later. He's more the kind of guy who shoots first and then forgets about the questions altogether.

In recent years, action films have had their balls well and truly chopped off. Whereas once we were inundated with the adult orientated gunplay of Die Hard and Point Break, we are now smothered in a world of the suffocating bland. Our cinemas are full of films like Resident Evil: Retribution which clog themselves up like a stubborn turd that refuses to flush. What Dredd does to counter this is to include a little bit of politics and the goriest movie violence this side of an Al-Qaeda snuff movie. I can't stand real violence in the slightest but a film in which we see someone's cheek slowly rip open as a bullet passes through it is a real treat. In any case, it certainly provided an effective antidote to the decaying pain of brain-syphilis that is still infecting me from my viewing of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

As for the politics- well, Dredd is of course an undeniable fascist. However, in the locked down tower, his lethal actions seem fairly justified with his violence being as a result of his need to survive. In future instalments I'd perhaps quite like to see him simply executing people as a result of his own judgement. Beyond the joyously head splattering violence that this would provide, it would also be an interesting exploration into the morality of his life whilst at work on the streets. Personally I'm against capital punishment, with my main objection being in regards to its ethical hypocrisy. I honestly don't know how a simple serial killer can be put on death row for their atrocious crimes whereas someone as evil as Piers Morgan gets his own chat-show. I know that a nutter with a knife may seem like more of a threat to society but in actual fact, Morgan's smug levels are so high that they're almost radioactive. I don't know if it's true, but I heard that licking his face is actually more fatal than sticking a poisonous frog up your arse and then trying to fart it out. Either way, it's the latter that certainly sounds a hell of a lot more fun.

Director Pete Travis and writer Alex Garland have done a great job of finally getting the real Judge Dredd to the big screen. Travis' back catalogue might not exactly be the most impressive, however I've been a huge fan of Garland's since he wiped out the population of London in 28 Days Later. Despite Dredd simply being Dirty Harry meets Die Hard-in-the-future, his script does its best to stay as grounded as possible, avoiding the trap of most action movie cliches.

If I have any criticism, it's during a scene in which Dredd is about to be killed. Rather than just shoot him, his attacker instead begins to gloat. Not just for a second either, he begins to waffle on and on like an attention starved retard for a couple of minutes. Although the entire film is brilliant, this one scene does accidentally turn into that Simpsons episode in which Bart delays Sideshow Bob by asking him to perform the H.M.S. Pinafore in its entirety. After Dredd obviously escapes this situation he tends to a stomach wound by simply stapling it up. I'm not a doctor but I'm pretty sure Dredd's staples wouldn't prevent any internal bleeding. I'm therefore going to assume that the moment the closing credits began, his adrenalin would have stopped pumping and he'd have collapsed unconscious to the ground. I once shaved my face so fast that it started bleeding to the point that I thought I should call for an ambulance so there's no fucking way he'd just 'be fine'.

A final compliment to the movie would be the price that I had to pay for it. When arriving at the cinema, I hadn't realised it was exclusively showing in 3D and so became suitably pissed off. Personally I hate this shitty gimmick that's being forced upon us and so can't wait for it to just fuck right off. I was also forced to watch Avengers Assemble this way which was a pain in the arse because of the way it reduces the light. That film apparently begins with Nick Fury surviving a night time assault but all I could see was his one fucking eye bouncing around the screen. When I arrived to see Dredd and was charged extra for both the ticket and glasses, I felt well and truly raped. Being forced to pay extra for something I didn't want in the first place must be like being forcefully arse-fucked up an alley and then told to thank your attacker for his effort. When the film started I was obviously still feeling dirty, annoyed and abused. The 3D adds nothing to Dredd whatsoever but within seconds I'd forgotten all about it. From the moment Urban's voice growls over the film's introduction, I was lost in the world of Mega City One. Dredd is a film with a cool, fuck-you attitude, as blunt and to the point as being kicked in the face. It has similar drug effects to Limitless, the action gore of Wanted and the gritty visuals of District 9. I can only assume that if The Raid is better then it must simply be two solid hours of watching someone machine gun Piers Morgan's lifeless corpse back to Hell. If I was to summarise this overly-long blog of waffle, it would probably be these five words, “Stallone should be fucking ashamed”. Now, I apologise for taking up so much of your internet-time. Please get back to enjoying some porn and hopefully see you back here soon.

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1 comment :

  1. Very entertaining and honest. Some top comparisons.

    'Dredd is a film with a cool, fuck-you attitude, as blunt and to the point as being kicked in the face.'

    Now, about that first paragraph - pics or it didn't happen. ;)