As the faithful descended on the San Diego Convention Center for this years Comic-Con, a select few were treated by Lionsgate Films to an advance screening of Peter Davis‘ Dredd. Kicked off with star Karl Urban asking a packed Reading Cinemas, “I hope you like your films dark and gritty,” the answer was a course of cheers. “I want to apologize to anyone who’s a fan of lycra and gold codpieces — you’re just going to have to wait for two hours.” Sorry Stallone fans, this is apparently a  markedly different movie.

Writer Alex Garland and director Pete Travis set out to return Judge Dredd to his 2000 A.D. roots and by the sounds of it, they have succeeded. Across the internet, on blogs and twitters, those that were in attendance seem to have nothing but glowing words of praise. Well, most. As Chris Hewitt from Empire points out, the movie is going to contend with comparisons to The Raid, a movie with virtually the exact same plot. Quint from Ain’t It Cool News said “You can say many things about this movie, but tame is not a word you’ll see associated with it,” and “If you’ve ever wanted to see what a bullet going through a dude’s jaw looked like in slow motion, then by God ‘Dredd’s’ the movie for you!” (I do, actually.) Over at Deadline, Luke Y. Thompson applauds the movie, but questions if it’s grim parody of the action genre, borne from the comics, will work with mainstream audiences. As an indirect answer to that, I think The Playlists Todd Gilchrist put it best:

What Zack Snyder’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ is to George Romero’s original, Pete Travis’ film is to, no, not Danny Cannon’s 1995 film ‘Judge Dredd,’ but Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Robocop.’ In both cases, gifted visual stylists took fertile, socially-conscious subject matter, pared out the cultural commentary, and left behind an engaging, if empty, cinematic experience.

Without delving deeper into spoiler filled reviews, I think it is safe to say the movie sounds like the one we’ve been waiting for, and unless you were one of the lucky to catch the advanced screening, both you and I have to wait till the 28th of September. Till then, Lionsgate has posted a red banded clip on the just launched that you can check out after the jump.

hmmmm, think Dredd is going to be R rated?

Category: Comics, Film

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