Dredd 3D (18, 95 mins) Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey Director: Pete Travis Released: Friday September 7
In the near future, America has been reduced to an irradiated wasteland and more than 400 million people are crammed into Mega City One on the eastern seaboard, which is patrolled by law-makers called Judges.
Dredd opens with a frenetic motorcycle pursuit through the streets and director Travis keeps his foot on the accelerator for most of the film.
The introduction of a designer drug called Slo-Mo, which – as the name suggests – reduces the speed of skirmishes to a crawl a la ‘bullet time’ in The Matrix, allows us to see the trajectory of bullets as they scythe through flesh and explode internal organs with sickening fury.
Urban scowls beneath his helmet, tossing out the occasional one-liner, while Thirlby adds a touch of humanity to the degradation.
Her troubled heroine is the only character with anything that resembles an emotional arc.
Headey chews scenery with obvious relish, defying macho conventions as a powerful woman in the patriarchal mire.
Special effects are solid and Travis acknowledges the 3D by throwing debris and severed limbs at the screen at regular intervals.
Adrenaline-junkies and hardcore fans of the comic should enjoy the unremittingly bleak rush.
n Swearing, No Sex, Violence n Rating: 5/10