Thursday, 13 September 2012

REVIEW - DREDD


Proof that, if the right attention is paid by the right people in the right places, a good film can be made from any material. This is a good film, and that it is good at all makes it almost great. The hollow dialogue is the usual juxtaposition of cliched soundbites and clunky exposition, and it's spoken with the usual po-faced machismo by the actors, enjoyably po-faced for the most part. I got the feeling that they knew it was shit, but shit with a purpose, and that the director, Pete Travis, had things under control. Perhaps he did, perhaps it's just the tech crew, perhaps it's a combination of both - one way or another, this film is brimming with creativity. The visual design is marvellous, due, surely, in no small part, to director of photography Anthony Dod Mantle, whose photography in the slow motion sequences is extremely artful. Slow motion is generously employed here, and Travis is dedicated to the device, wringing as much as he can out of it. He uses it at the most opportune moments, showcasing the most spectacular 3D effects simultaneously. Indeed, so good are these sequences that I found them not nearly generously employed enough. The film lacks any significant amount of narrative drive, or a sense of importance - the scope initially threatens to be expansive, before continuously narrowing, to the point that the final few developments seem thoroughly inconsequential. But, under considerable constraints, not least of which is the requirement to produce mass-market-friendly comic-book sci-fi (rarely a positive thing), Dredd accomplishes a lot more than could ever have realistically been expected.