Judge Dredd is back in the first trailer for ‘Dredd’

Will Perkins
Wide Screen
June 21, 2012

Futuristic comic book lawman Judge Dredd is returning to the big screen after a seventeen-year absence. And this time Rob Schneider won't be around to ruin it!

The first trailer for "Dredd" - the long in production Pete Travis ("Vantage Point")-directed adaptation of the cult "2000 AD" comic stories - has hit the web.

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"Dredd" is set in the distant future after a global war has decimated Earth. The remaining population now live in massive Mega Cities policed by the Judges — law enforcement officers with the powers of judge, jury and executioner. Wearing the iconic Judge helmet Karl Urban ("Star Trek," "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers") subs in for Sylvester Stallone this time. The film also stars Olivia Thirlby ("Being Flynn") and Lena Headey ("Game of Thrones").

If the trailer looks strangely familiar to you, there might be a reason for that. No, it's not because there's already been a version of the story put to film, it's that, as the Playlist rightfully points out, the plot of new "Dredd" looks decidedly similar to another recent action film, "The Raid." In both films,  police operatives go up against a drug lord holed up with a gang of criminals in a heavily fortified residential tower. The only difference looks to be the dystopian sci-fi setting of "Dredd" afforded by the few centuries in time that separate the two films.

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Plot similarities aside, "Dredd" does have a few things going for it. Karl Urban for one. The New Zealand-born actor continually impresses in supporting roles like Dr. McCoy in J. J. Abrams' "Star Trek" revamp, but seems unable to break through as a leading man or mainstream action hero. However, he does have a number of sci-fi and fantasy roles to his name, so "Dredd" is well tread territory for him.

There's also some talent behind the camera. "Dredd" was written by Alex Garland, the acclaimed novelist and scribe behind movies like "28 Days Later," "Sunshine," and "Never Let Me Go."

The 3D sci-fi actioner is set for release on September 12, 2012.

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