Venture online, and among billions of less important things, you will find a petition for a Dredd sequel. Not the 1995 monstrosity that featured Sly Stallone, as he embarked on a quest to keep the iconic helmet off his superstar head with Rob Schneider doing things in the background, but the 2012 masterpiece starring Karl Urban as the eponymous bad-ass who distributes immediate justice to the criminal underbelly of a dystopian future.
Along with a rookie recruit with physic abilities, played by Olivia Thirlby, the pair decides to answer a homicide enquiry at a 200 storey block of flats called Peach Trees. Under the control of gangster lord ‘Mama’ who has taken over the high rise and distributes her mind warping ‘Slo-mo’ drug to the other occupants, Dredd was one of the most exciting, action packed and unrelenting films of the last few years.
It was the kind of film fans yearn for. After years of family friendly comic book hero movies, here was something special that wasn’t afraid to show some real blood and guts. However, due to low audience numbers, a summer that was completely dominated by blockbusters and sporting events and too many comparisons to Gareth Evans’ Indonesian set, wonderful, but somewhat similar The Raid, the Dredd sequel, that would of worked so well, was looking less and less likely.
However, a ray of light has shone of this potential sequel through sheer fan power. A petition was released last month for the Dredd sequel and I think for the sake of great films for adults we should all sign it. If you still need convincing, here are some reasons why we should have more movies like this.
1.) Clever and pitch perfect script – Alex Garland, writer of such modern, British classics as Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and Never Let Me Go and produces a fine script. A consistently exciting narrative that could of risked repetition, as the characters ascend the multiple storeys, delivers scene after scene. The dialogue is sharp, the pace is perfect and the characterisation is fantastic, so much so it allows us to responding to these cops and criminals. It allows us into their sphere without giving away too much. If Garland were to write the sequel, we would certainly be in for a treat.
2.) Intense and raw action scenes – Dredd doesn’t stray away from the unsavoury elements of the subject matter. It bravely shows the brutality that a raid like this would inflict, not only on the gangsters but the innocents caught in the crossfire. It gives its audience a respect by saying you can handle this violence because you are clever enough to appreciate this is what Dredd is about.
3.) Some of the finest use of 3D – I’m not the biggest fan of 3D but when a film really does something different than the norm then that has to be admired. Here, the filmmakers took the concept of the Slo-mo drug and used the 3D to the benefit of that so it gave the audience a psychedelic experience akin to the characters. It took the medium, that some think as merely a cynical money maker, to a different level.
4.) Karl Urban – He doesn’t need to remove his mask constantly so the audience knows who he is like Stallone. He plays to the character and not to the actor and this truly benefits the film and himself. Not only is his chin a fine actor but his movements, authority and dialogue delivery is great. He manages to convey relationships through his armour which is an even bigger feat. Urban is one of the most exciting actors working in Hollywood and I have yet to see him disappoint. With characters to his name like Dredd, Bones and Eomer from Lord of the Rings, is there a more versatile actor at the moment?
5.) Potential – There is so much potential for a sequel. Not only can narratives be drawn from the myriad of Dredd comic books but the character has to ability to go down many different routes and encounter everything. There would certainly be enough for a few seasons of a TV show let alone a sequel, so why not sign the petition and we can enjoy some more Dredd?